How to Securely Dispose of a Printer?

Say you have had enough of your old printer and are thinking of getting a new one. But what about the old one? Either you will discard this printer or give it to someone who needs it.

But it would be best if you did not get rid of the printer by throwing it away in the garbage bag. It is not right to dispose of a printer in regular garbage. Avoid making the environment a toxic place, and dispose of your old printer safely without harming the environment around us.

Now, you might already have this question of how to dispose of a printer securely if you are an environmentalist. That’s the reason why I’m here.

Table of Contents

Why Do You need to Dispose of a Printer?

But first, let’s have a clear understanding of why you just cannot randomly dispose of your printer in the garbage; what has this got to do with the environment?

Bad Effect on the Environment

The further we move into the 21st century, the worse the environmental crisis will get. The main reason behind this crisis is an imperfect and unprofessional method of recycling waste.

Takes Decades to Decompose

Electronic devices contribute to the creation of many different types of waste. A printer is one such device that needs to be disposed of securely to avoid a negative impact on the environment.

Printers are made of different metals and chemicals that need many years to decompose completely. But, you can reduce that time by maintaining safe ways of disposal.

Your Confidential Data Matters

Additionally, a printer’s memory may contain data of what you have printed before. Due to confidentiality issues, it can be harmful to dispose of the printer without removing those. That’s you need to dispose of your printer securely.

Ways to Dispose of a Printer Securely

If you follow some easy instructions and tips, it will be convenient to dispose of your printer safely. Here are some easy ways to get rid of your printer without causing any harm to the environment and risking your confidential information.

Clearing Memory

Printers have two types of memory: volatile and non-volatile memory. You do not need to worry about the volatile memory because it gets erased when the printer is turned off.

But non-volatile memory is like the hard drive of a computer. If you do not delete it, it can last forever and be a threat to the security of your information. Before disposing of, make sure to clear the non-volatile memory of your printer.

If clearing memory is a tough job for you, remove the hard drive from the printer and destroy it physically.

For secure disposal, clearing memory is a must. Otherwise, there can be a considerable security risk if the memory is misused. After clearing memory, you can recycle, donate or sell your old printer.

Re-using Parts

If you have decided that you will throw away your old printer, please wait a minute. It is because you can surely re-use different parts of it. The printer might not work correctly, but its components can work well for you. Some parts that can be used afterward are –

  • Paper supports
  • Drums
  • Toners
  • Output tray extensions
  • Printed circuit board

If you want to modify your printer, you can replace these parts in the old printer. But if you buy a new one, you can remove these parts for future use and then get rid of the printer.


Recycling is the best way to get rid of a printer and other electronic devices. There are various types of recycling centers around us. Some can take the printer from you without any cost and recycle it in their own way. They will probably destroy it and use some of its parts to make other electronics.

Some recycling centers might take a minimal price from you when you give your printer to them.

Every recycling center has a common working principle because they recycle, re-use, and repurpose your printer so that our environment can have less electronic wastage.

Selling the Old One

I had a printer that my father bought about 4/5 years ago. But it was working pretty well with some minor complications. I was planning to buy a new one and became confused about what I should do with the old printer. Then my father suggested I sell it at a printer shop.

If your old printer has not malfunctioned, you can think of selling it. There is no use in keeping it in your house unused. Many printer shops and other electronic shops often accept old printers to repair them and make a better version of them.

Donating to Someone Who Needs

Some people may not be able to afford to buy a new printer. It might be a blessing for them even if they get a low-functioning printer free of cost. If you are purchasing a new printer, why keep or throw away the old one when it can serve someone else well?

This unused item can be valuable for someone who can’t manage enough money to buy a new one. If you know someone like that, donate your old printer to that individual. Otherwise, you can contact the local charity to find someone who needs it.

Final Words

Many of us can get confused while buying a new printer. As some questions remain in our mind about how to securely dispose of a printer, and what will happen when you throw away one? Instead, why not donate or sell your old one?

Your concerns are not negligible when it comes to the disposal process because it is related to our environment and other people’s necessities. So, it is better to dispose of your old printer securely rather than disposing of it in the garbage.