Recycle Your Empty Ink Cartridges!

Did you know that....

  • Almost 8 cartridges are thrown away per second in the United States alone!
  • 70 percent of used printer cartridges throughout the world are currently being thrown out.
  • Every year over 300 million cartridges are thrown away. In terms of weight, that is equivalent to over 30,500 African Elephants!
  • Stacking 105 laser toner cartridges end-to-end equals the height of the Statue of Liberty.
  • More than 1.1 billion inkjet cartridges are used annually around the world - laid end-to-end this would be 129 times as long as the Great Wall of China.
  • Each discarded empty laser printer cartridge adds approximately three pounds of waste to our landfills.
  • 20-30% of all cartridges sold worldwide are remanufactured.
  • If the empty cartridges the people of the world throw away each year were stacked end to end they would be able to circle the earth – that’s over 23,860 miles!
  • A cartridge takes approximately 1000 years to biodegrade.

recycling appeal USA


• 2 1/2 ounces of oil are used for every new inkjet cartridge produced.
• 3 1/2 quarts of oil are used for every new laser cartridge produced.
• Each laser printer cartridge, on average, consists of approximately 2 1/2 ponds of plastic - primarily acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) - along with steel, aluminum and rubber.
• Manufacturing each new printer cartridge requires approximately 3 quarts of petrolium to power the manufacturing process that converts oil and natural gas to plastics.
• Each cartridge contains petrolium as "embedded" energy (i.e.. fuel value of the plastic itself). It takes the energy equivilant of approximately 1/2 gallon of oil to make one 2 1/2 pound cartridge.

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Current Recycling
• By some estimates, nearly 8 ink and toner cartridges are thrown away in the U.S. every second (= approximately 240 million per year).
• Industry analysts estimate that a spent ink and toner cartridge can be reused between 4 and 7 times.
• Over 86% of all inkjet cartridges sold in this country are thrown away according to industry statistics.
• 350 million laser toner cartridges end up in landfills or approximately 875 million pounds of environmental waste.
• Stacked end to end, these discarded printer cartridges would cover a distance of over 24,000 miles - enough to circle the earth!
• In the next 7 years, if all of the laser and inkjet cartridges are saved from landfills, a bridge could be built from the Earth to the Moon!
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Don't throw empty ink jet/laser cartridges and fax/copy machine toner or ink cartridges in the trash! Bring them to one of the Sevier County Public Libraries to be recycled instead. The King Family Library in Sevierville, the Seymour Branch, and the Kodak Branch each have a donation bin for recycled cartridges. All monies from the recycled items will be sent to the Library Foundation.

For more information, please call your local library or call/email: 865-365-1420