Roland DG Blog

How to Dispose of Your Waste Ink and Used Ink Cartridges

At Roland DG, we often have customers ask how they can best dispose of their waste ink, and used ink cartridges or pouches. It is important that ink cartridges and discharged ink is recycled and disposed of thoughtfully, to be environmentally responsible and to reduce our impact on the environment.

How Should I Dispose of Waste Ink from My Printer?

When your Roland DG printer’s waste ink bottle is full, you will be prompted by your machine to EMPTY DRAIN BOTTLE. To store discharged fluid temporarily, place it in the included drain bottle or in a durable sealed container such as a metal can or polyethylene tank. Be sure storage containers are sealed securely as spillage or vapour leakage may cause fire, or physical illness.

Despite the name “water-based”, water-based (or Aqueous) inks aren't water, and are not necessarily environmentally friendly, nor are cleaning agents. They should not be poured down a sink or into the ground, or thrown in the garbage. When disposing of any old ink containers, they should be completely empty before they are recycled, or disposed of in the trash as a last resort.

There are a number of options available to you for ink disposal. Check with your local council area for how to dispose of the ink correctly. Most council areas have chemical clean outs and drop off points.

Do not dispose of ink in sewer systems, rivers, or streams, pour on the ground or throw into the trash as doing so may have an adverse impact on the environment. Never attempt to incinerate discharged fluid as it can release harmful gasses and vapours into the environment and can be a health risk.

There are also many companies that work with businesses for collection of old waste inks and chemicals. Companies will come and collect the ink based on the volumes collected and dispose or recycle the inks. Check with your local waste companies who collect your old rubbish if this is a service they offer.

Can You Just Throw Away Ink Cartridges?

With Australians throwing away more than 18 million printer cartridges a year, over 5,000 tonnes of material ends up in landfill. When printer cartridges break apart in landfill, they have the potential to contaminate groundwater and the environment. To avoid empty ink cartridges ending up landfill, it is best to recycle them. Roland DG’s ink cartridges are made up of fine plastics and metals that can be recycled through our Roland DG Cartridge Recycling Program


In partnership with Close the Loop, we have structured our Cartridge Recycle Program to ensure simple and efficient collection of your empty Roland DG inkjet cartridges. In collaboration with our dealer network, the cartridges will be collected and returned to Close the Loop, Australia’s largest recycling and resource Recovery Company for imaging consumables.

Driven by a philosophy of zero waste to landfill, Close the Loop reuses or recycles 100% of every inkjet cartridge that is collected, as shown below:

  • Ink – is converted from waste to energy in a contained area. This can then be stored and used in a range of ways.
  • Plastics – are sorted, broken down, and made into pellets to sell to manufacturers for re-use in new products, such as cartridges, pens and rulers.
  • Metals – metals are separated by eddy current and magnets into ferrous and non-ferrous and sold to or passed on to partners/suppliers for re-use. 

For every 1 tonne of imaging consumables collected and recovered by Close the Loop, approximately 10 tonnes of carbon (tCO2eq) savings is recovered.

Avoid Harsh Penalties and Do Your Bit for the Environment

The Government enforces strict laws and heavy penalties for illegal dumping of ink and ink cartridges, to ensure dumpers pay for potentially harming human health and the environment, and to deter them from repeating the offence.

If you need further advice on waste ink disposal, go to our Cartridge Recycle page or contact us directly.