Recycling News & Research: Ink Cartridge Recycling Program

Ink Cartridge Recycling Program

A 2004 Harris Interactive poll found that 55.6 percent of American consumers throw out their empty printer ink cartridges rather than returning or recycling them so they can be refilled and reused!

Those 270 million printer ink cartridges add more than 40 million pounds of unnecessary waste to the trash stream every year. The printer ink cartridges take more than 1,000 years to decompose.

Around 1990, rising retail prices motivated companies to start cleaning, refitting and refilling empty printer ink cartridges to be sold as a less expensive remanufactured product. A 2004 study by the Rochester Institute of Technology found remanufactured printer ink provides the same quality and page output as new printer ink cartridges.


1. To reduce pollution by keeping printer ink cartridges out of the trash stream

2. To save energy by remanufacturing printer ink cartridges

3. To raise money to support UConn-SWCS activities

The UConn-SWCS partnered with the Missouri based eCycle Group to implement the recycling program. The eCycle Group pays the UConn-SWCS between $0.50 to $14 per printer ink cartridge depending on brand and type. Funds raised by the recycling program will go to support UConn-SWCS activities like river clean-ups, maintenance of the UConn forest trails and student outreach events.


This Article is written by John C Arkin.


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