Top 3 Ways to Recycle Empty Ink Cartridges for Cash


Out Of Ink, In The Money: Cash In Your Cartridges

Ink cartridges. You know they’re piling up. In the desk drawer. In that junk-filled corner of the kitchen counter that you can ignore for only so long. In that box overflowing with stuff you don’t want to throw away because it’ll all end up in a landfill for the next decade…or two…or three.

But get ready to collect those cartridges and make some cash: You can actually recycle your empty ink or toner cartridges (it’s easy) and be environmentally conscious at the same time. Here are three of the most common methods for earning money with empty printer cartridges.

1. Turn In Empty Cartridges At An Office Supply Store

Recycling translates into rewards at big-box office-supply stores like Office Depot and Staples. These stores offer a $2 in-store credit for each qualifying cartridge you turn in, up to 10 empty cartridges per month. You could earn $20 a month — $240 a year — just for getting those old cartridges out of your workspace and off your mind. To participate, you need to be a member of the store’s customer reward programs and make qualifying purchases. It’s also worth checking to see if the local mom-and-pop office-supply store offers a similar cartridge return program.

2. Printer Cartridge Buy-Back Sites

Check out websites that offer to buy back empty ink cartridges; most sites also pay for shipping costs. Evolve Recycling, for example, will send you a check when your balance reaches $25; laser printer cartridges can fetch quite a bit more in recycling payouts. If you don’t mind waiting to collect your payment, buy-back websites offer more convenience than heading out to an office supply store — you can get rid of your cartridges while lounging at home in your comfy pants.

3. Sell Used Printer Cartridges On eBay

eBay isn’t just for new ink and toner cartridges: You can sell empty ones on the site as well. Selling multiple cartridges at once (known as selling in lots) can help you save time while also making your listing more attractive to buyers. To ensure your listing is as effective as possible, include detailed information such as the cartridge manufacturer; model number; and whether the cartridge is black, color, or a combination of both. If you can add a picture of the cartridge, all the better. When it comes to eBay, it always helps to clearly show what you have to sell.


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Sandra Murphy

Holds a master's degree in professional writing and has more than 15 years of experience writing for national and international entities.

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