Forum Friday – Old Ink Cartridges = New DVD Players

Every Friday I pull a gem from the forum and share it here on my blog, as there are far brighter, more resourceful, and more experienced educators out there willing to share their discoveries. This one is a very old post, but one that I feel is worth revisiting as national funding for technology in education is once again being targeted for elimination in the president’s proposed budget. Thankfully, the new leadership in Congress is going to try and restore more than 1.7 billion in education funding, and may be able to keep technology spending at 2006 levels. However, even with those efforts, funding for technology in education still remains tight, and Nicole pointed out an excellent way to help turn waste that every school produces into new equipment:

nicole said:
You can sign up for Cartridges for Education at and recieve free stuff for all those used ink cartridges. Useful way to show kids how to recycle and get more gadgets for your room at the same time.

Upon further investigation, the actual link to the Cartridges for Education appears on their rotating banner image, so you have to wait for it to pop up, OR just click on the link to the Cartridges for Education website. It sounds like quite the simple process for signing up; just call the 1-800 number provided, and get yourself setup with a collection kit. Along with the kit they send a catalog full of items that you can redeem your cartridges for. Like many ink cartridge recycling programs, you have to save up quite a few of the empty plastic boxes (in good condition to boot) in order to cash them in for new goods, but in a school setting where lots of ink is being used, it’s usually not hard to gather a large number of cartridges. Plus, you can extend this into the community, and encourage families to donate their old ink cartridges to the school. For someone that used to throw his old spent ink cartridges away (yes, yes, you can scold me on it), I would love a program like this to get rid of my technological waste.

With the “reward” of one dollar for every usable cartridge they receive, it sounds like a pretty profitable fundraiser for schools to purchase projectors, DVD players, televisions, and even……new ink.


  1. My school is part of “Cartridges For Kids” program. Same basic idea: Recycle old ink cartridges and receive actual money back.

  2. Oh, I noticed something extra nice about the Cartridges for Kids program that the site I mentioned doesn’t do. It looks like with the Cartridges for Kids you can also recycle used cell phones, PDAs, and laptops. Now that’s definitely worth looking into, as I have several old PDAs just laying around gathering dust; it makes me wonder how many other antiquated pieces of technology other households are collecting.

  3. Geez,
    I mentioned Cartridges for Kids in the forum and I feel slighted. ๐Ÿ™‚
    But, I might have to start sorting, as I get a lot less money sometime for good, but already recycled cartridges.

  4. Ack! I didn’t see your post Rick. Having gone back in the forum and looking, you must have been talking about it when you were mentioning that in “the extreme Northeast there is a company who, if you buy ink jet and laser jet cartridges from them, will pick up all your junk and send it to a recycle center.”

    I didn’t even make the connection between that and comment and Hamilton Electronics. To be far, Nicole did have it posted a good year a half earlier though ๐Ÿ™‚

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