Recycle for Scotland

What to do with printer and toner cartridges?

15 APR 20 | 2 minute read

If you’re one of those honest types that actually has a home printer rather than just sneakily running everything off at work (you know who you are) then don’t forget the cartridges are recyclable.

Empty cartridges are increasingly being collected at local recycling centres but are not generally collected in your household collection. However, there are other organisations that will recycle them for you.

Household recycling collection

not currently recycled

Empty cartridges are not accepted via household recycling collections

Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC

Recycling facilities exist

Increasingly empty cartridges are being collected at local recycling centres. Please check your local website before visiting.

Other recycling collections

Recycling facilities exist

Not all recycling centres can accept empty ink or toner cartridges, but there are plenty of other options. 

The Recycling Factory collects inkjet and toner cartridges. You can use the service if you are an individual, business, charity or school. When you recycle with them, you can choose a charity to donate to or you can earn clubcard points. Labels are freepost and their courier collections are free of charge. offer a free postal service for recycling empty ink cartridges. However, they cannot accept toner cartridges. 

Many charities collect empty ink cartridges to raise money by refilling and reselling them. Take a look at the internet to find charities in your area that are collecting printer cartridges.

You can also drop off cartridges at some supermarkets and electronic stores. Use the recycling locator tool to find out where you can drop off your empty cartridges for recycling.  

Did you know?

Currently 45 million printer cartridges end up in the landfill each year in the UK alone. Only 15% of inkjet cartridges are remanufactured, so it's important that you refill or recycle your empty cartridges. 

What can you do?

  1. When you buy a printer, choose one that uses cartridges that can be refilled easily

  2. Refill ink cartridges yourself. You can buy refill kits from several supermarkets or online

  3. Think before you print. By reducing the amount you need to print, you will save the amount of ink you use

  4. Donate them! Lots of charities collect empty printer cartridges to raise money by refilling and reselling them

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.