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Ink Cartridge Recycling Program


A 2004 Harris Interactive poll found that 55.6 percent of American consumers throw out their empty printer cartridges rather than returning or recycling them so they can be refilled and reused!

Those 270 million cartridges add more than 40 million pounds of unnecessary waste to the trash stream every year. The cartridges take more than 1,000 years to decompose.

Around 1990, rising retail prices motivated companies to start cleaning, refitting and refilling empty cartridges to be sold as a less expensive remanufactured product. A 2004 study by the Rochester Institute of Technology found remanufactured printer cartridges provide the same quality and page output as new cartridges. 



  1. To reduce pollution by keeping cartridges out of the trash stream
  2. To save energy by remanufacturing cartridges
  3. To raise money to support UConn-SWCS activities


  Project Status:

On February 7, 2005 the UConn Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) initiated a program to collect and recycle student owned printer cartridges. Flyers were distributed to advertise the location of drop-off bins for cartridge collection in the following locations:

  • McMahon Hall Lounge
  • Branford Hall Lounge
  • Alsop B Lounge
  • Room 225 Beach Hall

The UConn-SWCS partnered with the Missouri based eCycle Group to implement the recycling program. The eCycle Group pays the UConn-SWCS between $0.50 to $14 per cartridge depending on brand and type. Funds raised by the recycling program will go to support UConn-SWCS activities like river clean-ups, maintenance of the UConn forest trails and student outreach events.

The UConn-SWCS is encouraging students to recycle used printer cartridges and purchase remanufactured cartridges which are available at most retailers that carry printer cartridges.

The UConn-SWCS is a student club open to both undergraduate and graduate students. The chapter began in 1979 and continues to draw much interest today.  The UConn-SWCS promotes the wise use of soil, water and related natural resources in Connecticut through advocacy, professional development, and public education. The UConn-SWCS is a part of an international network of society chapters which foster the science and art of soil, water, and related natural resource management to achieve sustainability.



For more information about the recycling program or the UConn-SWCS e-mail




UConn Recyling Homepage