Comparing toner recycling programs – One of the hallmarks of a good environmental policy for a manufacturer of printers, copiers, and ink and toner cartridges is how they deal with the waste products that are inevitable when the ink runs out or the fuser runs the natural course of its life.
The major toner manufacturers, Brother, Canon, Hewlett Packard, Konica Minolta, Kyocera Mita, Panasonic, Ricoh, Samsung, Sharp, and Xerox, have developed recycling programs for their cartridges. However, these programs are not all equal; some are highly selective about the cartridges that they will accept.
As a matter of fact, many of the cartridges they take back are worth money because they can be easily refurbished and sold. By replacing a few worn parts and refilling their supplies of ink, the manufacturers can cheaply create a fully functional product. By and large, though, this can only be done once.
For the most part, only the new from the manufacturer cartridges, also known as OEM cartridges, can be reliably refurbished, reused, or remanufactured. Then they can be resold. Many charities and schools hold even fundraisers for OEM toner cartridges.
Toner cartridges that have been refurbished or products not designed for easy refills are more of a problem. They must be broken apart and recycled. It is the manufacturers’ policies on these less desirable toner cartridges that we will look at closely.