Ink and printing cartridges are recyclable, but not in city-provided containers. Please do not place them in blue carts or public recycling containers. However, it is in all our best interests to keep cartridges and their contents out of the garbage as well.
Follow these steps for disposal of ink and printing cartridges.
- Set up a staging method and location. A conveniently located bag or box will work. Print our label, provided here, if you like. Just click on the image.
- When your container is full, mail it or take it for recycling. Your options are:
- A local retailer. Many office supply and specialty stores run ink and printer cartridge recycling programs. Drop boxes are usually located at the entrance or by customer service. Some retailers will give you a nominal return on your cartridges (for example, two dollars per). Though there is no limit to the number of cartridges you can turn in, there may be a limit to the dollar amount they will pay out.
- A national provider. Companies that specialize in ink and cartridge recycling will accept your items by mail. These providers will clean and refill the cartridges for re-use, will remix inks, and will recycle inks and plastics into usable materials. Manufacturers usually work through these providers. City of Fort Lauderdale staff and facilities participate in the Close the Loop recycling program, which not only recycles the plastic ink containers, but also the ink itself!
- A school, charity or other organization participating in a cartridge recycling fundraiser. Many of the national providers, referred to above, offer fundraising programs. Local organizations collect and mail in used cartridges and receive small amounts of money for each. When you support these groups, you do something good for the environment and also help your community. Another option is to utilize TerraCycle which cooperates with manufacturers and recyclers, and has a specialized intake "brigade" for ink cartridges.