August 3, 2007, Newsletter Issue #74: Recycling vs. Remanufacturing an Inkjet Cartridge

Tip of the Week

Many people easily confuse and lump together the terms recycling and remanufacturing when it comes to inkjet cartridges. There is a difference, a big difference, that if many people knew of, they would choose more carefully how to dispose of their inkjet cartridge.

Remanufacturing is the process that most people envision when they think of recycling an inkjet cartridge. The remanufacturing process is one where the original cartridge is broken down, cleaned, and put back together to be refilled and put back on the market. This process involves no melting and therefore no waste fumes. This is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of your inkjet cartridge. Recycling, on the other hand, takes a very different form.

Many ‘recycling' programs offered by inkjet cartridge manufacturers are not as ‘green' as they may seem. In these processes, the plastics and other materials are melted down to their raw, malleable form. Once melted down, after releasing many harmful fumes into the atmosphere, the plastic could end up as anything from an inkjet cartridge to a kitchen utensil. If you are looking for the most environmentally-friendly way to get rid of your empty inkjet cartridge, double check to be sure that you send it to a remanufacturing program instead of a typical recycling plant.

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