Taking your spent ink cartridges to Staples or Office Depot to cash in on their ink cartridge recycling programs is an easy way to save money. Doing so now, over the summer months, can also help pay for back-to-school supplies.
Staples’ Ink Cartridge Recycling Policy Explained
Returning empty ink cartridges to Staples will net you $3 per ink cartridge or toner cartridge. The $3 reward can help stretch already tight budgets for the average consumer, particularly when you know that you are going to need a bunch of school supplies in just a few short months. To cash in, you will need to be a Rewards member, so be sure to have your card handy when you take in your cartridges, although they can also look you up by telephone number.
What Staples takes back: You may be surprised. Staples gladly takes back all manufacturer’s ink cartridges whether they are empty or not. Therefore, if you have recently traded your old printer in for a newer one, leaving you stuck with ink cartridges that you can’t use, and you can’t sell them on eBay or give them away to friends or on Freecycle, you can take them to Staples and they will take them back and give you the $3 credit. They will even take back partially used or completely full cartridges.
How it works: For each ink or toner cartridge taken to their store, they will issue you a $3 credit, which will come as a Staples Reward check. Provided that you meet the $10 minimum, you should receive a check after approximately one month. This is why taking back ink cartridges now will help consumers pay for back-to-school purchases later in the summer. You can only recycle ten cartridges per month, so bear that in mind when you are hauling your ink cartridge stash to Staples to cash in. The ten per month limit is per household, so your spouse cannot sign up to allow you to take in more than the maximum allowed.
Office Depot’s Ink Cartridge Recycling Policy Explained
What Office Depot Takes Back: Office Depot will take back any ink or toner cartridge and give you a $3 credit, which comes back to you under their Worklife Rewards Program. They do, however, reserve the right to refuse a visibly damaged cartridge.
How it works: You may also recycle up to 20 cartridges per month – twice as many as allowed under the Staples Rewards Program. Office Depot wants you to shop at their store for other items, therefore your ink rewards cannot exceed the amount that you spend in their store annually. This means that you must be an active shopper and not just use their store to make a quick buck back in rewards. It will take 4-6 weeks for your recycled cartridges funds to be applied to your Worklife Rewards account. Unlike Staples’ once monthly ink cartridge return rewards checks, Office Depot issues rewards checks quarterly, and only after $10 has been accrued on the account.
Personal experience recycling ink cartridges
Information retrieved on 6/7/2010 and is correct as of that date.