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Humane Society Now Accepting Empty Ink and Toner Cartridges for Recycling Donations

The word is out! Recent research indicates that 75% of all inkjet and laser toner cartridges--450 million in all--are discarded on an annual basis in the United States. Since our landfills and incinerators do not need this additional mountain of plastic, metal, and toxic chemicals to process, recycling (not to mention remanufacturing) must become the order of the day. Recycling empty ink and toner cartridges not only protects our environment, but also creates new jobs, saves energy, and even generates new funding for charitable organizations. You simply have no excuse for not recycling your empty ink cartridges.

Around the country, churches, schools, and libraries have been especially quick to act, establishing local recycling programs around their communities. Luckily for the environment, they are not alone in this modern day fundraising pursuit. Local humane societies are the latest community organization to move en masse raising funds in this arena, and are now accepting empty and ink toner cartridges. Here is just one announcement that appeared on the humane society's national website:

The Humane Society collects empty ink jet cartridges, laser printer cartridges and digital cell phones. We send them to be recycled and earn up to $4 for ink jets, up to $15 for lasers and up to $5 for digital cell phones. These can be dropped off at the shelter during open hours. A list of the cartridges we can use can be found here.”

Why is the Humane Society collecting old cartridges?

As this web announcement attests, local Human Society offices are now joining the fray. Empty inkjet and laser cartridges, along with old cell phones, can be dropped off at local shelters during regular business hours. While this is definitely a positive development, you may be wondering why a community organization dedicated to helping animals would be interested in collecting your old ink cartridges and cell phones. As it turns out, local humane societies are typically tax-exempt organizations that rely on donations and other fundraising activities in order to fund their operation, an obviously worthwhile effort. While budgets tend to be tight for most non-profit institutions, during tough economic times public donations unfortunately also tend to decline. Creative new ideas for generating community funds always make the difference, especially when it is for a good cause like recycling.

Of course, recycling is not a new idea. It's hard to believe, but it's been more than four decades since the first celebration of Earth Day in 1970. The phrase “Reduce, reuse, recycle” has become the mantra in this arena. As the word has spread, various humane society offices have partnered with Shelter Alliance, a firm that focuses on "the collection and responsible recycling of used cellular phones." While recycling is a good cause in and of itself, the proceeds from Shelter Alliance's collections actually help another cause, too: they also "raise thousands of dollars for building more Habitat homes.” Helping out the environment and those in need... as we've said before, there's simply no reason not to recycle!

Shelter Alliance

A Florida firm that has been at it since 2001, Shelter Alliance still focuses primarily on cellphone recycling, but the company has shown considerable support for ink and toner cartridge recycling programs, too. is the largest grassroots recycling companies in the nation, working with over six thousand firms in all fifty states to provide over $10 million in contributions to participating organizations.

Following the slogan, “Fundraising with Accountability,” Shelter Alliance's founding principles are “accountability, individualized attention to each participant, and responsiveness.” To find out even more about this spectacular organization, their website details each of the programs available, with all of them following a simple three-step process: register, collect and recycle, and earn. The firm complies with all federal regulations, and you can rest assured that no products of any kind from their operations will ever find their way to a solid waste landfill.

Check them out, and if your local Humane Society office has yet to start a program, consider volunteering your services by starting a local recycling program to get this worthwhile fundraising effort in motion.

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