It’s completely possible to recycle your old printer, and PrinterRecycling.org is a great resource for this! Most manufacturers will take back your printer and reuse the working parts, but they charge for the service. Certain retailers, like Staples, offer free recycling, but only if you also buy your new printer from them. Of course, another great way to recycle an old printer is to give it to a friend or family member, or donate it to a school or other organization.
Many organizations and retailers will accept old printers for recycling. Refer to the EPA’s website for a list of participants (http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm). Many companies will also accept their own products to recycle useful components. There are typically shipping and handling charges for that service however.
Best Buy will freely (for most items) recycle old electronics, or tell you where you can, if they don’t accept it. Also, “gently used” electronics can be traded in, as there is a good used electronics market.
An excellent site when unsure how or where to recycle something is Earth911. It lets you type in what you want to recycle alongside your zip code, and then searches for places in your area which will accept/recycle your item for you. A quick search using “printer” and my zip code produced five pages worth of hits, ranging from Staples to a local charity store. It also has a toll free phone number, 1-800-CLEANUP, which informs you as to your closest recycling center.
Luckily, old printers can be recycled if they no longer work. Just make sure you find a responsible recycler, preferably one who is e-Steward certified. If you’re in California, give All Green Electronics Recycling a try.
Recycle your printer or smash it with a sledgehammer.
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