Ink and Toner Cartridge Recycling

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale is pleased to announce that we are now partnering with Office Max/Office Depot to recycle used/empty ink and toner cartridges, helping to divert waste from the landfill.  

Going forward, all used or empty ink/toner cartridges should be sent to the Sustainability Office through Campus Mail to MC 4418 labeled USED-RECYCLE. Cartridges can also be dropped off at the Innovation and Sustainability Hub (first floor of Student Center). If your office generates many used ink and toner cartridges in one month, you might be eligible to send shipments for recycling from your office. Students are also encouraged to drop off their used ink and toners cartridges as well.  Please contact us at zerowaste@siu.edu if you would like to learn more about this option. [Note: We also have a program for unused cartridges. Click here to see our Toner & Ink Sharing Program page.]

What is accepted and what is not accepted for recycling?

The program accepts most ink and toner cartridges: Here are some examples of the types of cartridges that are accepted. 

INKJETLaser Jet CartridgesHPQ2624ACompatibleBlack-TonerCartridge

How to package and send ink and toner cartridges:

toner recycling bag

  • When you unbox the ink cartridge, there should be a plastic bag labeled for recycling:
  • Save this bag to send to the Hub.
  • Recycle the cardboard box, paper, and any other inserts that arrived with the cartridge. Please recycle them yourself, this will save us time and space!
  • When your ink and toner runs out, put the empty cartridge in the plastic bag and label it to send to the Sustainability Office MC 4418labeled USED-RECYCLE.

It’s really that easy!

This program does not accept toner tanks or toner powders:

Those should be returned to the copy machine vendor at the time of delivery and/or machine servicing. For reference, here is a picture showing what toner tanks and toner powders look like.

picture of toner tanks   Xerox    toner-powder

Toner powders are occasionally used across campus, especially in Xerox printers. Handle with caution, they are notorious for spilling and creating large messes.

What happens to these ink and toner cartridges?

These cartridges will be boxed and forwarded to Office Max/Office Depot for recycling and/or remanufacturing. The files below share more information about the recycling or remanufacturing process.

After remanufacturing, ink and toner cartridges are refilled with product and resold on the marketplace. We encourage you to choose remanufactured ink and toner cartridges when making a purchase, as they generally have a smaller carbon footprint than a new cartridge. This is because fewer raw materials were extracted to create the remanufactured product than a new product. In case you are concerned about the quality of the product, here are some more resources for you.

Download a copy of the instructions

Thank you for participating in SIU’s Ink Cartridge Recycling Program and helping Southern Illinois University move towards a more sustainable campus!