Facts About Recycling Toner Cartridges

Written By Maria Tussing, eHow Contributor.


Toner cartridges can make up a large part of an office supply budget, and contribute significantly to office waste. Recycling toner cartridges and using recycled toner cartridges can address both of these issues. Many states, have guidelines in place regarding the disposal and purchase of toner cartridges. Some, including California, require that a certain percentage of toner cartridges meet standards for recycled content.

  1. Components

    • Toner cartridges weigh about three pounds and are made up of 40 percent plastic, 40 percent metal and 20 percent foam, paper, rubber and toner. Cartridges aren’t recycled like many other products, which are melted or otherwise changed to create new products. Toner cartridges are reconditioned and refilled. Up to 97 percent of the components of a toner cartridge can be recycled.


    • When the recycling of toner cartridges began, companies used a “drill and fill” method. This involved drilling a hole in the cartridge and refilling it, without regard for the condition of the cartridge. This led to ink leaks and damage to printers, earning recycled cartridges a bad reputation.

    Quality Control

    • Recycled toner cartridges are now generally as high-quality as new toner cartridges. When the cartridges are recycled, they are disassembled and inspected, and any worn or damaged parts are replaced. All parts are thoroughly cleaned and the cartridge is filled with new toner before it is sealed and packaged for resale. Before buying a recycled printer cartridge, make sure it is produced by a reputable company and meets the specifications for remanufactured cartridges.

      Some printer makers recommend not using recycled cartridges in their machines. Some of these manufacturers void the warranty on the printer or copier for damage caused by any cartridges other than the new ones recommended by the manufacturer.


    • Recycled toner cartridges run 30 to 50 percent less expensive than new cartridges. This cost reduction comes from not having to buy and work with the raw materials for the cartridge. The cost savings are passed on to the consumer. This has added up to huge savings for large companies and state governments that have switched to recycled cartridges.


    • Every year, millions of toner cartridges are dumped into landfills or incinerated. Since they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, according to Green California, these cartridges can add up to a huge burden for landfills. Most cartridges can be reused up to four times, so recycling even one cartridge may save four cartridges from ending up in a landfill. The environmental impact is not limited to the landfills. It takes about three quarts of oil to make one toner cartridge, so by reusing the cartridges, consumers reduce oil consumption too.

      Article source : http://www.ehow.com/print/about_6098740_recycling-toner-cartridges.html

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