Majority of households and the overwhelming majority of businesses and government institutions are in possession of printer which is a modern-day staple. Printers are big heavy machines that are made up of hundreds if not thousands of different components that are also made from different materials which make recycling them very hard.

As all technology including printers are becoming more advanced, more and more different components will be used and the harder it will get to recycle them unless we decide to do something. In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about how to recycle your printer and how electronics recycling works.

Printer Recycling

Why Is Recycling Printers Difficult?

Humans are very good at being innovative and creating new stuff however we tend to neglect to do the tasks that will not bring us direct benefit even if they end up harming our planet and thus the future generations.

The truth is that for there to be an incentive for people and firms to get involved in recycling their printers and other electronics that they need a financial incentive. Right now recycling e-waste (electronic waste) is just not profitable due to the amount of labor and power needed to dismantle the electronics, separate the different parts, scrap them and then find buyers willing to pay enough for the recycled materials that you can turn a profit.

Printers and all other electronics these days are created in a way that makes them very difficult to break apart as they are glued and sealed very tightly, which is often done to hundreds of tiny parts that cannot be salvaged by machines in the contemporary world but instead all this work needs to be carried out by humans.

Right now there are a lot of pioneers in printer recycling and electronics recycling such as our team at Cincy Recycling. However, it will take the initiative and maybe even government legislation to make big tech firms such as Canon and HP who are two of the biggest printer manufacturers in the world to design their electronic goods in a way that makes it easy for them to be taken apart and recycled when it is time for the products to be recycled.

Sooner or later this will happen as all resources on Earth are limited and we cannot simply keep throwing away our old electronics and the precious metals and resources that come with them in the trash.


  1. First, it is important to note that it is not possible for an individual without any knowledge or the necessary equipment to recycle their printer themselves. However, there are a lot of options if you are passionate about printer recycling and electronics recycling, in general, to help make sure that your e-waste does not contribute to pollution.
  2. Now we have all this out of the way, do some research of e-waste recycling companies in your area, make sure to also take a look at how they gather all the electronics e.g. do they collect it from your home and are there any extra fees for that or do you have to drop off your old electronics yourself?
  3. When you have chosen a business that deals with the recycling of e-waste make sure that the organization is compliant with all government legislation. Going for a certified and reputable company is key as they will deliver the highest quality service. There is a lot more to electronic recycling than just the recycling, for example, you need to make sure that all the data that may be stored on those machines are properly destroyed so no criminals can potentially exploit it in the future.
  4. If your printer or electronics are working fine, then it may be a better option to donate them to someone who needs them and will use them more than you. This way you are helping the environment as your e-waste is not ending up on the street. You can also educate the person you are donating the piece of electronics to so they can make sure that when the electronic good in question breaks that it will end up being sustainably dealt with.
  5. Some people may encounter the problem of not being able to find anyone that wants their old printer or electronic devices if that is the case you could always turn to websites like eBay and Craiglist and try and sell your items there. You can also try brick and mortar stores such as Best Buy and Staples who will not pay you money for your old printer but will, in turn, give you a massive discount on the new printers that they sell in the store.
  6. Finally, one of the more exciting development, since quite recently top printer manufacturers such as Canon, HP, and Epson have started recycling schemes where they try to incentivize their customers to send them their old printers for the companies to recycle. The benefit of this for Canon, HP, and Epson is that this way they are able to keep consumers in their product ecosystem by enticing consumers who get in contact to recycle by offering them discounts on new products.


  • Printers contain a lot of different types of inks and toxic substances that can cause damage to the environment if they are simply thrown out along with the printers. The ink from printers is even known to contaminate soils around the world leaving them unable to be used for agriculture.
  • The materials that printers and ink cartridges are made from can take thousands of years to break down leaving them polluting the land and the oceans for a very long time.
  • You will save the lives of innocent animals who may have otherwise got trapped in the decomposing printers or swallowed broken down parts that can then lead them to choke or die due to stomach problems.
  • Save companies from having to use up more carbon dioxide, water, and other natural resources in order to replace the materials that they would have lost from people throwing their old printers into the garbage.
  • Creating new well paid and sustainable jobs in the sector of electronics recycling as there will always be a need for recycling as long as humans exist.

In conclusion, recycling your printers, ink cartridges and other electronics may be a challenge right now but the time is now to make a positive change and impact on the world. If you are in or around the Greater Chicago area and are interested in recycling your old electronics then please visit our website to learn more or get in contact at

Printer Recycling


The Environmental Benefits of Recycling Your Ink Cartridges

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *