How to Dispose of a Printer

Updated: Feb 14, 2024 8:17 AM
how to dispose of printer guide

Latest ResourceS

If you’ve been searching for the best printer, it’s crucial to understand the regulations around getting rid of your old one. There are a handful of ways to do this, but even the best all-in-one printers must be disposed of safely. So, if you have a printer just gathering dust, you can recycle, donate, or sell it.

After getting rid of your old printer, we have plenty of resources to help you select a new device. For example, we have a guide on the best Bluetooth printers.

How Can I Dispose of an Old All-In-One Printer?

a big pile of old printers

Most aren’t aware that many areas have municipal laws that make throwing a printer away in the regular trash or recycling bin illegal. Electronic waste, like printers, must be disposed of differently because toxic elements in the toner cartridges can harm those handling them.

So, understanding your options concerning printer disposal is imperative if you want to avoid fines or actively support sustainable business practices. Luckily, the recycling process is simple, and many recycling options are available.

Also, recycling isn’t your only option. For example, you can choose to donate your printer. Lastly, if you think there’s still value in your old printer, you can consider selling it.

Because printers can be complex, we have articles to help with many functions or issues that could arise, like explaining how to disassemble a printer if you need to work on the internal components.

Before you dispose of your printer, regardless of the choice below, you should make sure to:

  • Remove the ink cartridges.
  • Remove any media – Make sure there are no SD cards or other removable media in the printer.
  • Restore to factory defaults – If you need help with this, we have a guide you can read on how to reset a printer.

Recycle Your Printer

all in one printer with recycle symbol

You have a few different options to recycle your printer:

  • Big-box Retailer
    • Loading your printer up and carting it over to the nearest office supply store is probably the quickest mode of disposal. Whether a Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Target, Walmart, or elsewhere, all you do is drop it off, and they handle the rest.
      • Always go onto the company’s website to check the store’s recycling options and business locations. Some will pick up your printer for free, and others might even offer a discount on a new printer if you choose to give them your old one.
  • E-waste Center
    • Research local collection centers if you don’t live near a large store that takes old printers. Call city hall to find a center that accepts recycled electronic equipment. They’ll provide the location and collection schedules.
  • Original Manufacturer
    • Most large printer manufacturers will take used equipment off your hands. However, contact the company beforehand to ensure this is the case. This is because they may already have a recycling program in place with a designated drop-off location. 
      • In addition, some manufacturers offer buyback programs that appraise the unit’s value and give store credit or even cash for your old device. Always research the manufacturer’s specific policy details because these buyback programs’ offerings differ by brand.

Donate Your Printer

There are also several ways you can donate your old printer so that someone else can benefit from it.

  • Charitable Organization
    • If the device still works, giving your printer to a non-profit, school, community center, or charity is a great way to dispose of a printer that still has some life.
      • Doing so promotes sustainability and gives back to a cause you care for in the process.
  • Outreach Programs
    • Some organizations specialize in getting electronics like computers and peripherals to developing countries.
  • Repurposing Program
    • See if the manufacturer has a repurposing program. Some manufacturers work with organizations to recycle and repurpose old electronics.

Sell Your Printer

Selling your printer will yield the highest return, especially if the printer still works fine. First, get the machine in the best working order and then list it on an auction site or online marketplace. You can also contact places like local charities and schools to see if they are interested.

This doesn’t only put a little profit in your pocket but also reduces landfill growth and gives you an alternative method to getting rid of unwanted electronics. 

And, if you need more assistance, our guide discussing what you can do with an old printer can help you further.

Nathan Rizzuti Avatar

Latest Reviews

Trusted By

Learn More About Printers