Recycling your ink cartridges is good for the environment and cost friendly. Even though it should only be re-used a couple times for printing purposes, it can be melted down and used for other things, like building park benches. So why not hold onto your empty cartridges until it is convenient for you to drop them off or send them in to a certified remanufacturer?
Some printers have sticks, like Xerox 8400 ink, which are kind of like crayons. During the printing process, they are heated and melted into a liquid and then pressed onto the paper. This kind of ink cannot be recycled because it dissipates. However, inkjet printers use liquid, such as Epson ink or Canon ink, which is inside of plastic cartridges. Once the ink is completely gone, the cartridge is still useable.
So what do remanufacturing companies do with them after you send them in? The first time, they will use intricate machines to fill the cartridge with new ink, and then sell them as remanufactured ink cartridges for a less expensive price. Printers require heat to apply the ink or toner to paper, so the plastic cartridges tend to get worn, hence why they should only be refilled once. Unfortunately, there are some companies who continue to use these beaten down tanks, lowering the print quality and potentially damaging your printer.
Once the cartridges can’t be re-used for printing, they still don’t have to be waste. The plastic can be melted and used to make various things. Next time you take a walk through Central Park, sit down on one of the park benches. As you enjoy the scenery and passersby, remember you are quite possibly sitting on someone’s recycled Brother Ink cartridge. Less trash in the landfills and turning waste into useful things are two of many reasons to recycle. Imagine if the whole world did that with everything.