Ink cartridges for a printer tend to be very expensive when sourced from original brand name manufacturers. It’s a good thing there are several other sources of ink cartridges that you can more easily afford. You can’t use your printer without an ink cartridge, so if you don’t have the budget for a cartridge, you will not be able to use your printer. It helps to know that there are affordable sources of ink refills.
These sources are the third party companies that recycle ink cartridges. Since the cartridges are recycled, they are offered at much cheaper prices. If you have a printer, you should most definitely know a few things about recycling ink cartridges so you’d know what to do when you run out of ink. Here are some basic information about recycling ink cartridges for a printer.
The Basics of Recycle Printer Ink Cartridges for a Printer
- How ink cartridges are recycled
- Why recycle ink cartridges
- When ink cartridges need to be recycled
1. How ink cartridges are recycled
Ink cartridges are the containers where the ink for a printer is stored. They are recycled by refilling them with ink and re-using them. Recycled printer cartridges, however, can also refer to printer cartridges that are made using working parts from old, unused, and possibly damaged ink cartridges. Some companies take old, damaged cartridges apart, take the parts that can still be used, and re-work these into new cartridges.
The recycling process begins with a sorting process, where the cartridges are sorted based on brand, model, then the state of the cartridge. This is important so cartridge parts can be used to recreate new cartridges that are perfectly compatible for the particular printer model of the original cartridge. After sorting, the cartridges are then taken apart, and the main parts are examined. Damaged parts are tossed aside, while working parts are reassembled. Missing parts are replaced with new ones. Then, the refilling process begins. All recycled ink cartridges undergo another round of testing before they are packaged and resold.
2. Why recycle ink cartridges
It is important for every printer owner to know the importance of ink cartridge recycling. Ink cartridges are made of several different kinds of recyclable materials. Mostly, however, the cartridge is made of engineering-grade polymer plastic, which can be recycled and which is known to take a long while (around 500 to 1000 years) to decompose.
When people don’t recycle the cartridges, the plastic material end up on landfills for a long, long time. Due to the large number of printer ink cartridges being disposed all over the world every day, the world would probably be covered with unused and unrecycled plastic cartridges soon. And since most cartridges that are thrown into the trash usually still contain some ink, the ink might leak out and cause additional environmental poluution. Recycling prevents the continuous pileup of cartridges in the landfills.
3. When ink cartridges need to be recycled
The problem is, when do you think ink cartridges are ready for recycling? Most of us depend on our printer’s notification system to let us know when ink needs to be replaced. However, more often than not, such notifications are not accurate. Also, some printer brands don’t notify you at all even if the ink has completely run out if the cartridge you are using is not perfectly compatible with it, especially if you use remanufactured or refilled kits. So you should also know how to check when your cartridge is ready for recycling. Don’t be fooled by the first few notifications; they are usually meant to just warn you that the ink is running low. The best judge of this is when print quality and color capture, as seen on printouts, are already affected by the low ink status. That’s the right time to replace your empty ink cartridges for a printer.
Leftover Ink: Expect Some When Recycling Ink Cartridges for a Printer
Leftover ink is an expected part of recycling ink cartridges for a printer. Several leading printer brands already notify the user to replace ink cartridges even if there is still some ink in the them.Though you may feel cheated, there is a reason why printers are tricky in this way. Some printers, especially thermal inkjet printers, are at risk of damage when the ink completely runs out. The leftover ink is a buffer to make sure that the heating element in the thermal inkjet printer still has ink to heat instead of the heat directly affecting the print head. So don’t worry if there’s some leftover ink when recycling ink cartridges for a printer.