Getting rid of a printer isn’t as simple as throwing it in your general waste. Electronics need to be disposed of responsibly. Recycling is easy, and you could face legal repercussions if you don’t.
The same advice applies whether you’ve got an at-home or an extensive office-based printer system. Learn how to dispose of your electronics safely with us.
The Importance of Safe Printer Disposal
Due to the chemicals in printing ink and the cleaning solvents found in printers, several parts of the system pose a threat to the local environment.
These issues aren’t hazardous for the environment, either. They can also threaten human health.
If people inhale vapors from printer inks, it can cause long-term and short-term respiratory issues. If you were to touch something hazardous, your skin would likely react and cause damage.
Because of the risks involved with disposal, many states have rules and regulations around correct disposal. Luckily, many printers’ components are still recyclable or have parts that processing companies can repurpose.
Recycling is always best, even if your system doesn’t work anymore. It prevents adding to waste and ensures the safe disposal of all the parts. But whether you repurpose the device, take it to a recycling center, or hand it over to someone who needs it more than yourself, it’s much safer than tossing it in the trash.
How to Dispose of Old Printers Properly
1. Recycle Your Old Printer
One way to get rid of your old printer is to take it to your local recycling center. Drop-off at a designated processing facility is much better than your everyday recycling bin.
Recycling centers can dismantle all the various components, ranging from metals to plastics. Because the item is electronic, you’ll also find circuit boards. Professionals are in a knowledgeable position to separate each variable and either break it down for recycling purposes or responsibly put it back into service.
Printers are ultimately e-waste if not recycled properly. E-waste describes any electronic device or equipment that no longer works or has reached the end of its life span. It’s common for electronics to contain hazardous elements in their make-up, ranging from lead to lithium, that cause serious harm to the land they end up dumped on if disposed of alongside general waste.
According to reports, the improper disposal of e-waste has led to an absolute scarcity of valuable materials we need for things like batteries and TV.
If you run a business, make an effort to inform everyone of the hazards, so printers never go to the trash again.
This information assumes your printer no longer works or is light and small enough that you could take it yourself. If transport is an issue, Nixxit Junk can take your old printer and deliver it to specialized recycling facilities
2. Donate Your Old Printer
Alternatively, if the equipment is in working order, you could check out any local organizations that collect old printers. Usually, this involves schools, community centers, libraries, recreational programs, and similar services. They can always use electronic equipment to provide low-cost printing to those with limited access and resources.
Some manufacturers have direct links to organizations that host repurposing programs. Enquire directly with the printer manufacturers to see if this is possible. If transport isn’t an issue, it might be as easy as taking it to a local store. After dropping the printer off, the organization will take it from there.
Local non-profits also sell old printers, even if it doesn’t work anymore. They sell electronics to support their work.
3. Sell Your Old Printer
You could make some easy money if the printer is in good working condition. Some companies buy used electronics.
You can find a market for working printers if you have more specialized equipment like laser and dot-matrix printers. These types of IT equipment are usually higher-priced, so people will be eager to get one for a reduced cost.
Online marketplaces are a great way to connect to your local community and sell the printer to someone close to you. They might be able to collect it, saving you the hassle of transport.
In-person used goods stores and computer repair shops also accept some used electrical equipment. It’s a good idea to call ahead to see if they will take your item.
4. Trade-In Your Old Printer
Big-name office equipment retailers sometimes offer trade-in schemes for used electronics. Whether you’re a business or an individual, you can trade in your old printer to receive a discount on your new one.
Trade-in value will vary across retailers. You may not see a cash reward but rather a store voucher.
How to Prepare a Printer for Disposal
Printer brands have guidelines and instructions to keep you safe while disposing of your old printer. You don’t want personal or sensitive information to end up in the wrong hands. Follow the procedures outlined below for safe disposal.
- Remove the ink cartridge. The first thing you need to do is take the ink cartridge out with care. Ink cartridge docks can be delicate. Depending on your specific type, you can repurpose the cartridge in your new printer or as a backup. Alternatively, you could sell it or recycle the cartridge.
- Clear and remove memory cards. Remove added memory, like SD cards, if you plan on disposing of the kit. Do this to keep your private information safe. Any printer could have saved print logs, scanned documents, or a print history. You can reset some simply by turning it off for a minimum of 15 seconds and plugging it back in to clear the device.
- Restore the factory default. If your printer has a touch screen, you should be able to find the settings via the same panel. In the settings, there will be an option to revert the system to default. You can also find this option on the setup and maintenance pages or the manual.
- Remove, unplug and disconnect the wiring. If you plan on selling the equipment, keep the wiring close to the printer so you can sell it as a whole. Otherwise, you can keep functional wires for other electronics.
- Remove the device from your computer. You should see your printer listed as an external device in your computer settings. Delete this for convenience in the future; otherwise, your computer will default to using equipment you no longer have.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Clear My Printer Memory Before Disposal?
In the printer’s menu setting, find the action that reads, ‘clear data, clear cache, or erase memory.’ If you’re struggling to find such options, check the manual. You can find manuals online too.
Remember to remove any external hard drives or SD cards.
Got Old Printers You Need to Throw Out? Call Us.
Don’t just put your printer in the garbage. Many national and local recycling programs can assist with transporting and handling disposal.
Here at Nixxit Junk, we can take your old printer and dispose of it safely with a designated recycling center. Call us to find out how easy it is to get rid of e-waste.