It’s that time of the year for me to bang on once again about remanufacturing cartridges and how it will allow you to save both money and the environment. I have in the past introduced the concept of remanufacturing inkjet cartridges and how this reduces the amount of waste entering our landfills but until now I haven’t had chance to discuss toner cartridges.

For those not in the know, a toner cartridge is a piece of technology used by both laser printers and photocopiers that rather than containing liquid ink they contain electrically charged toner; a powdered ink that is fused to the paper during printing. The fact that these units are being thrown away when they can be recycled is quite worrying; in 1999 over 7 million toner printer cartridges were consumed in the UK and three-quarters of these were thrown away which accounted for as much as 15,000 tonnes of waste plastic and metal. Rather than binning the cartridges when empty, you can send them to a charity of your choice for them to make some money on or alternatively you can sell them to several different companies on the Internet; the addresses of which I will introduce shortly.

Before I tell you how to go about getting a cartridge remanufactured or indeed how to purchase a cartridge that has been remanufactured I think it would be beneficial to learn a little more about what a toner cartridge is and what is involved in its remanufacture. Due to the fact that each toner cartridge contains not only the toner but a complex system of delicate parts, simple refilling is not usually a reliable way of recycling such a cartridge; some toner cartridges contain well over 100 different parts and obviously these will wear out over time if you get into a habit of just refilling the cartridge but providing no other maintenance. In contrast to simple refilling, remanufacturing involves the cartridges being sent to a specialist factory where they are completely dismantled and cleaned, any worn parts are replaced and the cartridge drum is either re-coated or replaced. They are then refilled with fresh toner, tested and sold with a full guarantee.

So let us assume that you or your workplace owns either a photocopier or a laser printer which has just run out and so the toner needs replacing; what do you do? First off you would be wise to source a replacement remanufactured cartridge to keep you printing and there are many companies on the Internet that will be able to help you with this including our own site which is also happens to be one of the cheapest suppliers in the UK. Once your replacement cartridge has arrived you obviously want to do your best to keep things environmentally friendly so you should find someone that is happy to collect your old cartridge such as,, or if you fancy making a little bit of money rather than giving it to charity then try All the aforementioned companies will almost always either give you a freepost envelope to use or arrange for a courier to pick them up if you have saved a few cartridges to collect.

The printer in my office uses Hewlett Packard 4127X toner cartridges which cost around £79 for the HP original cartridge whereas the cost for our remanufactured 4127X cartridge is just £39.99 including free courier delivery. So now you have some idea of how you can help the environment, save some money without a loss of print quality and how you can help out a charity of your choice by sending your empty cartridges back to them. The websites mentioned above are only to be used for a guide as I have never personally sent any cartridges back to them myself as my cartridges go straight back to my trade supplier; for this reason, do compare companies on the Internet but certainly remember that whenever you or your office needs a replacement cartridge that you can save some money and the environment by getting a remanufactured one.

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