4 May 2020

How to recycle your print related products!

Today’s world is much different than it was just a decade ago. Many of the items we grew accustomed to discarding into landfills and trash bins are now able to be refurbished, recycled and reused.

As business owners and operators it is our responsibility to make sure we’re not emptying our toxic waste bins into the environment when we have better options. You would be surprised how many items like ink cartridges, printers and other small electronics are extremely toxic to our environment and how completely recyclable they are today.

I’m not going to go on a diatribe about how important recycling is, I’m just going to attempt to tackle some of the illusions that keep us from recycling. Read on to see what items from our industry can be recycled and most importantly HOW and WHERE we can recycle them. We’re all busy people with heavy workloads and we don’t always have a lot of time in our day for extra tasks. Luckily there are plenty of companies and organizations who make it as painless as possible for us to do our due diligence.


Ink Cartridges

Most of us probably have seen that our ink and toner cartridges can be recycled. Many can actually be refilled as well at a great discount to buying new cartridges. Refilling could become cumbersome in the office but keep it in mind as an option at home where you likely go through much less ink.

Here are some stats that I wasn’t expecting to see around discarded ink cartridges:
(Thank you 
A Greener Refill for this information)

  • 375 million cartridges a year are thrown away
  • That’s enough to circle the earth three times
  • It amounts to 1 cartridge every 11 seconds.
  • It can take 450-1000 years for a single cartridge to decompose
  • Up to 97% of each cartridge is recyclable/reusable

Staples, Best Buy, Home Depot and more are all readily accepting empty ink cartridges for recycling. I know in our office we already purchase many of our supplies from Staples, we simply collect the old ones and turn them in once we’ve got a box full.

If taking them to the store is a hassle you’d like to avoid you can visit Ink Technologies where they have a free cartridge and toner recycling program and will send you a label to use to send in your empties.




In recent year’s printers have become much cheaper which for a lot of people and businesses also means much more disposable. Why keep an underperforming piece of equipment when you can upgrade it for half the price of what they used to cost? That’s all well and good but let’s just make sure we’re not throwing them in dumpsters when we’ve got other choices.

Printers are not as easy to recycle as something small and simple like an ink cartridge but they are accepted at Best Buy for free to be recycled (some other stores do charge small $5-$10 fees to recycle larger items like printers, copiers, or PCs). Don’t forget about organizations like Goodwill or the Salvation Army where someone can still use your out of date printer and be grateful for it. You can also check sites like free cycle in your area who may be willing to pick up your unwanted printer (or other items) and recycle or reuse them.

Consumer Reports put together a great article about various electronics and manufacturers accepting previous models back and sometimes even giving credit toward new purchases. There’s nothing better than free money is there?



We all know paper is recyclable! The does not detract from the importance of making sure we do recycle it. In our industry especially paper is the key commodity and is heavily used. We recycle trash cans full of it every week from scraps to pieces that didn’t make it through our machines correctly.

Here are a few facts courtesy of Green Living I thought were interesting:

  • 40% of all landfill waste is paper
  • Recycling paper reduced pollution 95% over creating new paper
  • Making paper from used paper can save up to 50% of the energy used making paper from a tree.

We know how to recycle our paper already. We all just have to make sure we keep on top of it because it does have major benefits!



I’ve mentioned several places you can go to recycle items but I’ll leave with a few links to find organizations in your local areas who can recycle/reuse the above items and much much more.


1800recycling     |     greenergadgets.org     |     TIA eCycling     |     eCycling Center


Recycling and being environmentally mindful is something Burris has stood for and is also something I personally put into my life outside of work in every way I can, so if anyone has questions or comments beyond what’s discussed here, feel free to post it and I’d be happy to have any additional conversations!


Source: Burris Computer Forms Blog


CognitiveTPG recommends only qualified paper from several manufacturers to ensure reliability and longer thermal print head life. Please refer to the qualified paper list below.