Of course we can't just eliminate printers and other electronic devices just in order to get rid of their consumables. What will happen if we forbid people to use such machines, how can they be more productive and what can they use to replace it? So to solve the problem with printer consumables, recycling has been applied by several manufacturing companies into their products. Hence, these companies prevent the cartridges from filling up the landfills or worse contaminate the surrounding areas where people dump their wastes.
Regardless of how complicated the process there is to recycle a single piece of empty cartridge, its effect is enormously worth it. Considering that the manufacturers don't need to use virgin materials and resources to reproduce products, the amount of energy and natural resources that the process can save may reach up to 80%. If you try to draw it as pie chart, looking at the bigger fraction, it seems like your playing pacman and the 80% space gets to eat the remaining 20%. Kidding aside, sooner or later researchers will find a way or rather a solution to max out the advantage of recycling.
Although a few consumers are more concern of saving their hard-earned money rather than the environment, in the process of cartridge recycling manufacturers, consumers and the environment as well are all getting benefits. You know for a fact that cartridge recycling also has a certain limit, and those components which can no longer be recycled are still reuse.
If you're not yer participating to any recycling programs or organizations, here's a good thing to consider. Wise consumers doesn't only use recycled toner cartridges and ink cartridges to save money, they also sell them to recycling plants that accept return cartridges for a price. Sounds great isn't it, you get to earn a few bucks while making yourself environmentally responsible.