Printers & Systems

What Should I Do with My Old Printer?

If you’ve ever owned or operated an ID card printer, you've probably wondered, “When should I replace my ID card printer?” “What should I do with my old printer?” or “How can I recycle or donate my printer?” Dispose of your old machine responsibly with an organization that will recycle the components or upcycle it into a refurbished unit that will live to see another day. Here are answers to common printer recycling questions.

When Should I Replace My ID Card Printer?

Because of ever-advancing technology and business needs, it’s typical for most organizations to upgrade to a new badge machine every 3 to 5 years. Reasons to buy a new badge card printer vary, but often it’s because newer printer technologies become available – technologies that utilize better energy consumption and greener supply components that result in an eco-friendly printer. Besides the satisfaction of owning an environmentally responsible printer, the latest ID badge printers come with enhanced card security features, plus conveniences like easy operation and faster production speeds. An aging printer can result in costly repairs – and costly interruptions to your badge issuance program – that make a new investment the logical choice.

What Should I Do with My Old Printer?

You’ve made the decision to ditch your old card printer, but did you know you can recycle your printer and upgrade into an improved model at the same time? Better yet, you can save money while doing it. Many ID printer manufacturers partner with their trusted resellers to offer printer trade-in promotions. When you purchase an eligible ID card printer, the manufacturer will accept your existing printer and even offer a credit toward your new printer purchase. Card printer discounts for trade-ins can range from $100 - $700, depending on the model. The manufacturer will ensure the printer is either refurbished, reused for parts, or recycled appropriately. What could be better than getting new and improved equipment that better suites your needs while also helping planet Earth?

Where Can I Recycle or Donate My Printer?

There are multiple options available when it comes to disposing of your electronics responsibly. Two of the best choices include recycling or donation. Printer disposal must follow the same rules as other electronics – you can't just throw them out.

Donating your printer

Big Box Retailers

Larger retailers that sell electronics may participate in a recycling program that accept discarded printers. Ask around to retailers and office supply stores near you – dropping off at one of these locations is fast and easy.

Electronic Waste Centers

Electronic waste or e-waste is a term used for discarded electronic devices. E-waste collection centers take electronics that can be refurbishment, reused, resold, or salvaged in any way. Visit your city or county website to find facilities that will recycle or dispose of your old printer, and maybe even the printer ribbon or ink cartridges, too.

Go to our own Printer Recycling Resources page to find a local recycling facility in your home state.

Whatever you do, be sure to know the universal waste and hazardous waste laws for your location. It's important to receive certificates of recycling and certificates of destruction so you know your information has been disposed of in an ethical and secure way. If you do not receive these certificates, it’s likely these items are not being disposed of properly and have a chance of being thrown into a landfill. Besides the negative impact to the environment, items not intended for landfills may be found by the DNR or other agencies in your state. Serial numbers on the items can be traced back to your organization and fines may be issued. Having proper certificates means your company will not be held liable in the event the recycling company didn’t adhere to the law – but they will.

Why Shouldn’t My Printer Go in the Garbage?

Recycling your printer

Whatever you do, don’t let your old ID card printer go to a landfill. Hazards of landfills include odor, smoke, noise, bugs, and contamination. Landfills can impact air, water, and land quality that cause health issues and harm biodiversity in the area. The negative effects of landfills span throughout your community and across the globe. Landfill sites should only be used for waste that cannot be recycled or reused, with the goal of minimizing pollution and our footprint on the earth’s environment. Plus, who wants to look at piles of rubbish? But as we tap out existing landfills, more open land is allocated for such a use - coming closer and closer to community areas visible to its residents. While landfill piles rise, property values in the area go down.

Need Help Replacing an ID Card Printer?

Our experienced ID professionals can help you find the best badge printer for your needs. We can help steer you to the printer that meets your budget, operational, and environmental requirements. If it’s a good fit, we’ll help you take advantage of our trade-in program – saving you money while sparing the environment. Call us today for assistance: (800) 321-4055, ext. 2, or

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