Green Fundraising: Recycle Ink Cartridges

Maybe you don’t know that only about 10% of ink cartridges are turned in for recycling. Maybe you don’t know that it can take up to 3,5 qts of oil to produce just one ink cartridge. Maybe you don’t know that there is a super easy way to recycle those ink cartridges, help the planet, save valuable oil resources and make money doing it! That’s right—recycling ink cartridges could be the most profitable and beneficial (planet-arily speaking) fundraising project you’ve ever promoted!

Quick-View Of Ink Cartridge Recycling

Setting up and running an ink cartridge recycling program couldn’t be easier. A few simple steps and you’re there.

>> Raise funds and recycle used ink cartridges and cell phones at FundingFactory. (Sponsor link)

Here’s what you’ll have to do:

  • Identify your ink cartridge recycling partner – this will be a company who buys used ink cartridges so that they can refurbish them and resell them. Most of these companies operate primarily online, and that is where you can expect to find several good ones.
  • Register your organization – pretty much anyone can set up an account for ink cartridge recycling—and it’s all free! At registration, you’ll receive all the information you need to start recycling. Soon after, you’ll be provided with bags, boxes, or envelopes to send the collected ink cartridges to the company in. In most cases, the postage is prepaid—the whole program could be run entirely free!
  • Start collecting – you’ll need to do something to get the word out about your program; utilize all your information disseminating resources. Blurb the fundraiser in a newsletter, send out letters explaining the program, write a press release for the local paper, send around an email and/or post the collection on your website. (Note—you don’t have to wait until you get you materials, you can start collecting any time.)
  • Remit Collections – remission guidelines vary by company, but by and large they are pretty open-ended; you just send in your ink cartridges whenever it best suits you. On average, a monthly remission works well, but if you collect a lot of cartridges regularly you could send them in more often. On the flip side, organizations that have just a few sometimes prefer to send in the ink cartridges when they’ve collected a fair amount to make the postal trip worth their while.

How Much Will You Make When You Recycle Ink Cartridges?

The potential for profit is limited only by your access to ink cartridges. The more you collect, the more you can remit; on average you’ll get between one and four dollars for each accepted cartridge (depending on the type and your company). The nice thing is that ink cartridge recycling doesn’t have to cost you a thing and the fundraiser can continue on alongside other efforts without competing. If you can partner with some area businesses and/or organizations that go through lots of cartridges, you can turn quite a nice profit. At any rate, ink cartridge recycling is something every needy organization should undertake because the extra income can’t be gotten elsewhere as easily.

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  1. Posted by sandra 22nd May, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    We’ve tried this at my daughter’s elementary school and it was very easy to implement. We placed several collection boxes at different spots at the school. We remind parents to bring in their empty cartridges in every newsletter and that seems to work. We’ve been making a few hundred a semester – anyone else have experience with this?

  2. Posted by Miguel 29th January, 2009 at 10:24 am

    We have a club in our office which happens to be a government one. We have been authorized to create it but we are in charge or the fundraising.
    We produce a lot of ink cartridge waste; I want to introduce to my boss this recycling idea, but I need to know how much are we going to make for our club if we do this.
    Can you help?

  3. Posted by 29th January, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    One way to get started is to check with with your local office supply store, to see if they pay for expended ink cartridges. You often get more per cartridge as opposed to using an online service, but usually only in form of a gift certificate from that store.

    You can also try our sponsor FundingFactory and check for their ‘qualifying lists’ and how much they’d pay for your cartridges.

  4. Posted by paco 24th April, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Look through the listings at and visit the paying programs websites. They will have updated lists on how much you will earn/cartridge.

  5. Posted by Carolyn 15th May, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I ran across your comment clicking various links looking for something completely unrelated! I was so glad to see a government office recycling. We offer the inkjet recycling programs and will provide you with collection boxes made of recycled paper. We also take everything. Not every inkjet has market value and will get you a return payment, but we take them all so your employees don’t have to check a list and they get recycled if they can’t be remanufactured. We also pay on nearly 50 remanufactured cartridges, which many places won’t take.
    It’s really hard to give you an estimate of what you’ll make because I don’t know what you’re turning in. I do hope you’ll evalute programs both on the return payment but also on the ability to turn in all inkjets. You don’t really want the ones that don’t pay going into the trash if you’re running an environmental fundraiser.
    Also, most people don’t realize that about 70% of what gets turned in can be remanufactured, which creates lower cost products for others.



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