Hazardous waste found in printers includes lead, copper and other heavy metals that are used in electronic components. Empty print and toner cartridges may also include hazardous materials, mostly chemical irritants used in ink.
There are no federal laws related to the disposal of printers or print cartridges. However, many cities have their own recycling or disposal programs in place. It is generally the responsibility of the person disposing of the printer or cartridge to contact the appropriate waste disposal personnel and pay the fee associated with disposing of hazardous waste. Those looking to dispose of a printer should check with their local Environmental Services office to see what regulations are in place in their area.