Materials Recovery

How We Recycle

Close the Loop is at the forefront of developing processing technologies for recycling printer cartridges and similar plastic or electronic products. We have invented numerous proprietary technologies to safely shred and recycle ink cartridges, toner cartridges, toner bottles and other print consumables. We process thousands of pounds of empty ink and toner cartridges and toner bottles every day. We never stop learning and we continue to develop and invest in newer, safer, and more efficient machines and processes.

Output Stream 495px

Our process generates four major output streams.


Toner is a very fine, electrically charged plastic (powder) used in photocopy machines and laser printers. It is a contaminant to the rigid plastic fraction of old toner cartridges and bottles and must be removed or separated from everything else.

CtL has completed the research and is now entering the development phase of a new commercial application of post-consumer recycled toner powder, as an additive to asphalt roads and other bituminous products. Stand by for announcements of large scale projects in 2014.


Steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and precious metals are separated by magnets and eddy current separator technologies. There is a ready market for scrap metals, and they become part of their respective commodity loops.


Close the Loop recovers a large variety of plastics from its production lines including polyolephins (LDPE, HDPE,PP) and engineering grade styrenics (ABS,PS).

The plastics that we recover in large volumes of clean material are either sold into ‘closed material loops’ for reuse in new cartridges, or diverted into open loops for Close the Loop products and commodities. Some of the plastic recovered from inkjet cartridges are recycled into our Enviroliner pens and plastic from toner cartridges is used to make our rulers.


Close the Loop has pioneered the reuse of mixed inks from scrap inkjet cartridges. After years of R&D, we have developed the technology and the skills needed to refine these raw materials for use in Enviroliner pens and flexographic ink.

CtL, in partnership with BCM Inks of Cincinnati OH, has produced and commercialized a flexographic ink called PCR Black. This product has recently been announced a winner of the prestigious DuPont Packaging Awards for 2013.

Recycling achieves more than just material recovery. Learn about how recycling also saves energy and helps to reduce carbon emissions.