One of the things that I do NOT miss about working in an office environment is changing massive toner cartridges in the huge laser printer. It seemed like they always needed to be changed when trying to print to something in a hurry. LOL. And then we would pack them in the recycle box and there they would sit until whenever the company got around to picking them up. But, what to do with cartridges that you cannot recycle?? Here are some ideas.

 

The sustainability movement has progressed to include recycling for old toner and ink cartridges. However, you can only recycle a cartridge a finite number of times before it cannot be used for printing any longer.

Toner_CartridgeWhen that happens, you can still find uses for your old Samsung toner cartridges (or any other brand) if traditional recycling isn’t an option. Instead of depositing them in the nearest landfill, use your used up toner cartridges for one of the five fun creative projects mentioned below.

PaperweightsOk, so this one seems a little obvious — using a heavy toner cartridge as a paperweight. This turns into a fun craft project as soon as you break out the paints and the glue gun. Customize your cartridge paperweight with fun painted designs, sparkly sequins, buttons, colorful stones, or whatever else speaks to your creative muse. No one else in the office will have a paperweight that looks quite like the converted cartridge sitting on your desk.

Magnets: Take advantage of the different parts of the toner cartridge by separating them out to make refrigerator magnets. Simply pick up some strong magnets from a craft store and hot glue them to the back of your cartridge parts to get the ball rolling. Like making a cartridge paperweight, cartridge magnets can be easily spiced up with paint and accessories. Break out the paint brushes and go crazy.

Piggy Bank: A cartridge makes for a unique and visually interesting piggy bank. To start, use a knife to cut a slot in the top (just remember to make it wide enough to slide coins through it). Next, fiddle around with your toner cartridge and find all the logical places where it opens and closes. Pick the most convenient one as your ideal spot to empty out your coins on a rainy day.

Picture Frames: Here’s another great project to satisfy your inner Martha Stewart. Use as many or as few parts of your toner cartridge as you like to make a custom photo frame. All you need is a hot glue gun and an open mind. Different colored toner cartridges make for great opposing sides of a picture frame. If you’re feeling extra creative, add a thin piece of glass or plastic over your picture to keep it well preserved. This is a great gift option — who wouldn’t love a creatively unique picture frame?

Wind Chimes: This is a favorite of all the unconventional uses for old toner cartridges. Use the cartridge as the base for your wind chime, orienting it whichever direction is most appealing to your eye. Buy some fishing line and use it to attach other recycled items to your cartridge chime. Use parts of other toner cartridges, lids, old pens, or whatever else is floating around the office that might make a fun sound when moved by the wind. String it all together, hang it on your front porch, and allow yourself to be soothed by the subtle sounds of creative recycling.