Why You Shouldn’t Recycle Your Unused Printer Cartridges

Toner Tips by James Cai

Hearing the word “recycle” and “shouldn’t” in the same sentence is pretty rare. So rare that most people might cringe away from you as they toss their empty Dasani bottle in the nearest blue bin.

Not only has the number of recycling centers tripled in last few years but it’s estimated that 80% of the population has access to some type of plastic recycling facility.

So why are we asking you to not contribute to the preservation of finite resources? Actually, we’re asking you to make money instead.

That’s right. Make money from your unused toner. And don’t worry, it won’t send your cartridges to the landfill after all.

That’s a journey we can’t bear for unused toners to take.

So where is a better destination than the recycling plant? A lot of people take their unused toner to Staples or Office Depot but this isn’t the ideal destination either.

Unlike landfills, recycling plants or office stores, there are companies that will actually pay you for your unused toner cartridges without the hassle of finding their location, limited amounts allowed and other restraints.

Here are 5 reasons to skip the recycling and sell to a toner buyer instead.


Make Money Not Credit


When you sell your unused toners to either Staples or Office Depot, rather than a toner buyer, you don’t receive cash for your cartridge.

Instead, you are presented with “rewards” that can only be used in that store. According to Staples, they give you $2 in rewards credit for your cartridges.

But did you know an unused toner cartridge from a name brand such as HP or Canon can fetch up to $40 or more? Office Depot is worse.

Along with only offering you $2 in rewards, you must also make “a $10 qualifying purchase that same month” to receive it.

Just about as exciting as receiving $2 worth of Schrute bucks or a dozen Stanley nickels.

Once you have turned in your cartridges, Staples takes over 30 days for your rewards to show up in your account. And that’s only if there are no delays.


From the Staples website:

Dependent upon timing of recycling, additional processing time for qualifying cartridges recycled online may cause them to appear in the following monthly Rewards statement (approximately within 60 days).

Office Depot pays them out in rewards only on a quarterly basis.

With toner buyers, not only are you paid immediately after the toner is received, but you have the luxury of choosing your method of payment.

Whether it’s PayPal or company check. And it’s money you’re allowed to spend anywhere. We don’t limit you to coupons in our stores.



Nonacceptance and Limitations


Recycling back cartridges may not seem like an exclusive thing but it does if you choose Staples or Office Depot.

There are requirements you must meet in order to bring in your cartridges. For starters, for Staples, you need to be a member of their Base Rewards program.

However, in order to qualify to sell your cartridges, you need to have spent at least $30 every 6 months on ink and toner first.

And not only that, you are only allowed to bring back 10 cartridges for recycling.

If you are a member of their Premiere Rewards (requires $1000 of in-store purchases at Staples), you are allowed to bring back 20 cartridges per month.

Office Depot also limits you to only 10 cartridges per month along with one account per household.

Staples and Office Depot also don’t accept all toner cartridge brands and are even more picky with the types of ink and toner they accept.

Toner buyers do not limit you on how many cartridges you can sell us, we encourage it. We also welcome anyone with a cartridge to sell.

You do not need to be a part of any sort of program or membership in order to sell.

Also, not only do we want to see those cartridges put to good use and not sent to the landfill but we will take all major brands.

As long as the cartridge is unused, unopened and unexpired, buyers will be interested.


Knowledgeable Staff vs. Retail


There’s nothing more frustrating than for a customer to go to a store hoping to recycle their unused cartridges only to be turned away because they’ve reached their limit, it’s the wrong type of cartridge or the staff member has no idea how to handle the recycling/reward transaction and has to fetch a manager.

Understanding how the recycling rewards program works can be confusing and seem to get more complicated every year.

By using a toner buyer’s website, not only are your questions and concerns going to be answered by knowledgeable experts.

They’ll also help you through a great selling experience. And you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home.

The cartridge(s) info can be uploaded onto the website immediately, and the customer service reps can tell you how it works.

If it meets the requirements (which are helpfully outlined on their website so it saves you the guesswork), you will receive a quote.

No dancing around reward programs or quarterly reports.

Just you, your toner, the buyer and the money you will earn.


Save the Planet


When you do recycle your toner cartridge, it is going to be broken down and destroyed to created into something else.

Before it even got a chance to fulfill its original purpose. Think of it as buying a brand new Ferrari from LaRusso Automotive; you’ve got your keys, your bonsai plant and you drive off into the sunset.

But then you make a detour and drive straight to the junkyard and have it smashed, recycled, and made into a used Nissan Cube.

According to Waste Management, gas and oil are used in the production of most plastics, so it makes more sense to use the item for what it’s intended (either by you or the toner buyer you sell it to), rather than wasting time, material and money.




Shipping cartridges to Staples or Office Depot can be just as much as a hassle as bringing it to a brick and mortar location.

And on top of only receiving a $2 credit per cartridge, you also have a restriction of either 20 lbs or 20 cartridges before the franchise will accept it.

For toner buyers, shipping the cartridges, whether it’s 1 or 100, we make it easy, painless and free to you. The buyers cover the cost of shipping and do not deduct it from your agreed upon amount.

While we do applaud the effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, we think you might agree that getting cash for your cartridges is a much better use of your time and efforts.

Along with Toner Connect, you have a plethora of options out there to make good use of your unused toner. So say goodbye to reward programs and hello to a better experience, better service, and faster money.




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