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Inkjet and toner cartridges are made out of plastic, a petroleum-based product that takes and estimated 1,000 years to decompose. The growing number of manufactured inkjet and toner cartridges is reason for concern; especially since millions of them find their way to landfills and incinerators every year. Not only does this have a negative impact on the environment, it literally takes taxes the resources of cities throughout the United States. Landfill management requires an enormous amount of money each year, just to keep up with the volume of accumulated waste. It is up to us to find a solution that will decrease this growing threat - a solution that may require a proactive approach of recycling old materials.

Recycling used inkjet and toner cartridges is an easy solution that is very beneficial for the environment. Recycling promotes a healthier plant by reducing the amount of solid waste in landfills and helps to conserve raw materials - materials used to make new goods. Recent studies have suggested that people only reuse or recycle between 20-40% of all empty inkjet cartridges; leaving 60-80% of all inkjet and toner cartridges in existing landfills. And with about three hundred million of these cartridges thrown away each year, that can amount to nearly seventy-five thousand tons of trash. The environment simply cannot sustain itself at this current rate of consumption.


Recycling involves a process that changes waste materials into new products. It benefits the environment and it's inhabitants by reducing the consumption rate of raw materials and energy. It also benefits the environment by reducing the production of air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gasses. Recycling is one of the three components involved in reducing modern waste and ensures the conversion of waste materials found in empty toner cartridges are made into new products without harming the environment.


Recycling offers many benefits that can help the environment and the people who live in it, and it's benefits can be observed in many ways. For example, recycling saves energy by reducing the energy it takes to process reusable materials. The extra energy used to transport raw materials from one source to the next is also saved. It lessens global warming and environmental pollution by cutting back on manufacturing of new goods using raw materials.


Recyclable materials include many types of raw materials, such as:






and electronics

The petroleum-based plastic found in most inkjet and toner cartridges is a recyclable material. All recyclable materials are sorted through at a collection center that proceeds to clean and reprocess it into new materials bound for manufacturing. Recycling waste material produces a new supply of the same material; this makes it a possible solution to pollution on a bigger scale.


There are many companies that recycle old inkjet and toner cartridges, and many offer recycling services for free. Some companies also include a redeemable ticket when you purchase a new toner cartridges. To recycle without getting a new cartridge, you can also ask office supply stores to refill your old cartridge with ore ink. Ask an adult for help when your printer runs out of ink and work together to find a solution that works for your family and the environment.


Recycling Toner/Inkjet Printer Cartridges (PDF)

Cartridges for Kids

Raise Funds While Saving the Environment: How It Works

Alternative Recycling Locations (PDF)

Inkjet and Toner Cartridges: Recycling Center Locator

General Information on Recycling

Why Should We Recycle: The Benefits

Recycling Guide: Printer Cartridges

Recycling More Obscure Materials

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot: Recycling Guide (PDF)

11 Facts About Recycling

Why Recycling Matters: Fast Facts (PDF)

Teaching Your Kids to Recycle

Recycle This!

NIEHSKids' Pages: Recycle

Empties4Cash: Which Cartridges

The Importance of Recycling Inkjet Cartridges

Welcome to Recycle City!

The Environmental Benefits of Recycling

Be a Green Kid


Reuse Guide for the Victor Valley

Guide Lists More than 45 Places to Donate Household Items

Victorville, CA - The City of Victorville Environmental Programs Division recently updated its Reuse Guide for the Victor Valley. The Reuse Guide is a comprehensive listing of where to donate or re-sell household items.

The Reuse Guide contains a list of over 45 organizations that accept donations of clothing, furniture, household items, and even building materials. The organizations listed either re-sell the items in thrift stores and use the proceeds to support their programs, or the groups use the items directly in providing assistance to local residents. The Guide includes information about which groups can pick up items as well as what groups provide a tax receipt for charitable donation.

The Guide also has a list of on-line resources for people who want to sell, trade, or giveaway items.

Reuse is a great way to save natural resources and also help local non-profit groups. By reusing, valuable items are kept out of the landfill. Those items can be re-sold to generate revenues for the many non-profit groups in the region which provide assistance to individuals needing help. This creates a "win-win" situation for the environment and the community.

In the Victor Valley, all trash ends up at the County's Victorville Landfill, where it is compacted and buried. Throwing away unwanted - but still usable - household items wastes resources, uses up landfill space, and costs residents money for disposal. Keeping items out of the landfill is a much better option environmentally and financially.

The Reuse Guide for the Victor Valley is available on the City's recycling information website: (look for "Reuse Guide"). A copy can also be requested by calling the City of Victorville Recycling Program at (760) 955-8615.

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