How can I reuse or recycle old printers?

PrinterWe’ve covered the toner/ink cartridges in the past but have now had an email from Wendy Johnson Houghton about the machines themselves:

I have recently purchased a new printer for my personal use.

Sadly, it was cheaper to buy a new printer than to purchase toner cartridges for the old one.

I now have a printer which sort of works, but not brilliant – and I want to know whether it is recyclable?

If it’s still working – as you say it is, someone else might prefer to take a chance on refilling the existing cartridges or replacing them with cheaper ones – so it might be worth offering it on your local Freecycle group.

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by brokenarts)

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old printers?”

  1. Elouise Jones says:

    What about taking a retired printer to a toy library or children’s play centre? My nearest toy library has furnished play areas for children: a supermarket(where my pensioned off, clapped-out calculator gets used as pretend check-out till), a dressing up corner (with pensioned-off clothes, bags, shoes, hats) a kitchen, a clinic, etc. What about a offering goods for a play office, where little ones can play ‘office office’? Kids then get to play with grown-up things that are often out of bounds. I guess one must make sure the items are clean and have no sharp bits poking out.

  2. Ryan says:

    Sadly, I’m in the same boat as you. I already ditched my last printer and already this one seems to be on its last leg. I have decided to print all my photos at the drug store since it is actually cheaper that way anyway, but I’m kinda stuck when it comes to printing recipes and stuff. The are designed to break. I would like to figure out a way to do something useful with the machine so that it is valuable again.

  3. Matt says:

    Printers are very desirable for geeks, do-it-yourselfers, tinkerers, and others who make electronic things. They have all sorts of parts– motors, switches, lights, wires, connectors,etc–that can be extracted and given a new life. If you have any friends of this sort, ask ’em.

  4. b says:

    how to refill

  5. I work for a non-profit that has started an electronic recycling program, LCI Recycles. For more information about the services we provide you can visit our website,, or you can contact me directly: 919-596-8277 ext. 175. We have Computer Recycling Drives the last Friday of every Month from 10am-2pm. You could bring it by then! 4500 Emperor Blvd, Durham, NC 27703

  6. Gulia says:

    Donate it to local Science Center.

  7. Kate says:

    I have an Epson Printer in working order (need ink) free to anyone who will collect Contact

  8. Michael says:

    Selling my Printer HP Printer Comes with Disk and Adapter selling for £48
    2 in Stock.

    Old Printer Cannon for £40 no disk nor adapter for it nor USB Cable for it if you ring Cannon I’m sure you’ll be able to retrieve the Disk from them and you can by an Adapter from them and USB Cable from a local Shop.

    HP Ink Cartridges 21 Black £17.78 and
    HP Ink Cartridges 22 Multi-Colour £20.88

    I accept PayPal.

    To make payments via PayPal please contact me here and I shall give you the PayPal Email Address at your Email Address.

  9. Michael says:

    Customer will have to pay for P&P

    £3.88 for Ink Cartridges
    It’ll be first Class and Signed for.

    Thank you.

  10. Michael says:

    I do not accept returns.

  11. Try listing it on eBay cheap as spares and repairs, someone may buy it for tinkering. If not take it down to your local WEEE recycling facility and they can recycle it for you. Check out for some information on WEEE recycling in the North East of England

  12. tony stephens says:

    Like at least one person above, i got tired of dried-up ink cartridges. I retired the printer portion of my old 3-way printer, and bought a second hand b&w laserjet (for what you can buy a fine new one now). I use the old colour scanner, the reliable b&w laserjet printer, and take colour print requirements to my local store for fast, economical, good quality prints.

    A little cumbersome, but for now, i get the best compromise of convenience, cost and quality.

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