How to recycle toner cartridges: DIY toner refill kits vs. mail-in recycling

Posted on September 20, 2009 by Sridhar Balasubramanian

Smart businesses know that office recycling is not just for office paper anymore. One great recycling initiative for environmentally-friendly offices is to recycle toner cartridges. Now sure how to start? Take advantage of free mail-in recycling programs from the top toner and ink manufacturers, or try your hand at toner refill kits. shows you how.

Free Mail-In Programs: how to recycle toner cartridges the free & easy way.

Manufacturer mail-in recycling programs are the easiest way to recycle toner cartridges. Most brands even cover the cost of shipping, so you can be more environmentally-friendly without incurring any extra costs.

Where to recycle toner cartridges from the top brands at

Epson Recycling Program

Epson Recycling Program

HP Recycling Program

HP Recycling Program

Your toner brand not on the list?

  • Visit your toner manufacturer's website for more information.
  • Contact toll-free at 1-866-501-6055.

Toner Refill Kits: how to recycle toner cartridges the messy DIY way.

Like getting your hands dirty? Own a face mask? And a soldering iron? Then DIY toner refill kits are for you! Only the truly industrious should attempt to recycle toner cartridges this way. It's a messy job. Make sure to protect your cloths, carpets and furniture. In addition, inhaling toner is harmful, and can even be downright hazardous to your health. Only refill cartridges in a properly ventilated area, wear your mask and keep your toner refill kits out of the reach of children and pets. 

Now, if you're still determined to refill your toner cartridge yourself, you'll be glad to know that most toner refill kits do come with fresh toner and basic instructions. All kits work the same way: 

Toner Refill Kits: step one
Bore a hole in your empty cartridge with a soldering iron. Don't use a drill; drills force bits of ground plastic into the chamber and ruin your toner cartridges.
Toner Refill Kits: step two
Pour in the fresh toner. Only fill the cartridge partway. That way, if your cartridge is no longer usable, you only lose a small amount of toner.
Toner Refill Kits: step three
Tape the hole closed.

You can only refill your toner cartridges a couple times before the cartridge parts wear out. As the drum wears, it leaves unwanted marks on paper. Use the Ink & Toner Finder to find the right toner for your machine.

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