The recycling industry tends to become very popular in a world that consumes resources like there's no tomorrow. Without sacrificing quality, the recycling industry tries to provide top-quality products at considerably lower prices, advantaging both the consumer and the surrounding environment.
A very controversial branch of the recycling industry is the recycling of ink and toner cartridges.
Recycled cartridges are cartridges that are built around the good parts of older cartridges. Here how a recycled cartridge is born:
- An old cartridge arrives at a recycling centre, where it is initially inspected;
- The cartridge is disassembled to pieces and each piece is inspected to determine whether it is still usable or not;
- The usable old components suffer a rigorous set of quality tests to ensure they are in an adequate condition to be used and the pieces that pass those tests are kept, while the components that do not meet the quality standards are replaced with new components;
- Once all the components are in a working condition, the ink cartridge is assembled, filled and sold.
The main advantage of a recycled cartridge is its price, which is usually 30 per cent lower than the price of a regular cartridge. The competitive prices of recycled cartridges also prevent manufacturers from monopolizing the markets. Another advantage of recycled cartridges is that they are more environmental-friendly than newly manufactured cartridges, as the demand for new components is significantly decreased and so is the amount of pollution needed to obtain these components.
A potential disadvantage may be the reliability of recycled ink or toner cartridges, given the fact that, after all they do use old components. However, taking into account that all components need to pass quality protection tests, this shouldn't be an issue. Besides this, there are no proven disadvantages to recycled ink cartridges, even though several manufacturers claim that they have reduced performances. To support their claims, manufacturers have pointed out that recyclers simply do not have the required technology to obtain the same level of quality as they do. In an attempt to fight cartridge recycling, some manufacturers even programmed their printers to only work with genuine cartridges fitted with a chip. This type of cartridges cannot be recycled or may not work correctly if they are, so make sure your printer works with recycled cartridges before making a purchase.
Given the entire controversy over the quality and reliability of recycled cartridges and also taking into account their reduced price, it's up to you to make the final decision. If you feel comfortable with buying recycled products that will get the job done for a lower price, go for it, but if you want to ensure you only have the best of the best, go with a new cartridge instead. Be sure to check your printing equipment's policy on using recycled products, though, as some manufacturers may refuse servicing a printer that was fitted with recycled cartridges or charge higher service rates.
As you can see, it's a two-way road. It's up to you to choose the right way for your needs.