Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings

Fill ’er Up: $ave by Reusing Printer Cartridges

Consider the fact that each year, 300 million printer cartridges end up in America’s landfills. Although 90 percent of all cartridges sold are recyclable, only 20 percent are currently reused. A typical U.S. household consumes six to 10 cartridges a year; a school, 350; a mid-sized business, 900 to 1,600.

The resulting mountainous waste of petroleum-based plastic can pollute our water supplies by leaking leftover ink. But, it’s an easy problem to fix, and one that can save consumers big bucks.

The answer is to buy recycled, refilled toner and ink cartridges and return defunct units to the store’s drop-off spot on the same trip. reports that, while do-it-yourself ink refill kits are available online, it’s easy to patronize refill stations at participating retailers, such as Cartridge World, OfficeMax and Walgreens—and be good to go for a fraction of the cost of a new unit. Some also sell pre-refilled cartridges, and will change the computer chip that manufacturers often install to monitor toner level and protect their profits.

For brand-compatible cartridge models, visit, or ask a local dealer.

Subscribe to our national newsletter!

* indicates required
Global Brief
Health Brief