The most environmentally friendly and safe way to get rid of old printers is to recycle them through local electronics surplus companies or through Best Buy, a national retailer with a consumer electronics recycling program. Old printers that are still operational can also be donated to charitable organizations, churches or community groups.
The presence of old and unwanted consumer electronics like printers and computers in landfills is a growing problem, because the heavy plastics and metals in their components are not biodegradable. The best option for throwing away an old, nonworking printer is to recycle it. Electronics recycling centers can disassemble and sell off the bulk plastics and intricate metallic components of printers in bulk to manufacturers who then use them again in newer consumer electronics. Many recyclers, including Best Buy, ask that consumers separate ink and toner cartridges from the printer before dropping them off. These cartridges can usually be recycled separately through the same outlets.
If a printer is still in good working order, it can be donated for continued use instead of simply recycling it. Make note of any specifications or operating system requirements and then contact local charities such as Goodwill or check with community organizations or church groups. The printer should still be functional, and necessary components like inks and toner should still be readily available for any printer disposed of through donation.