An ink cartridge is nothing but the component of a printer that contains the ink. Printers work by the simple principle whereby minute droplets of ink get sprayed on the paper through nozzles on the print head. The ink cartridge remains attached to the print head of the printer and when the printer is switched on, the heat causes the ink to form bubbles and these bubbles are ejected through the nozzle. The ink used in cartridges is usually black but you also get colored ink for use in color printers. Once the ink in the cartridge is exhausted, you need to replace it with a new one. But how about reusing the same cartridge instead of throwing it away? Sounds economical, isn't it? And environment friendly too! Well, for all its advantages, recycling a used ink cartridge is not that difficult after all. This article will throw some light on recycling an ink cartridge.
How to Recycle Ink Cartridges
Recycling has its own advantages, and recycling used ink cartridges is a great way to help the environment, as it reduces the amount of plastic waste generated. You can find many ways to recycle the waste cartridges that you have, scattered about the house. The easiest way is to send the empty cartridges back to the company that manufactured them. The company then refills the cartridges and they are sold again as remanufactured ink cartridges.
The remanufactured cartridges are tested before they are released in the market and are no less than new cartridges when it comes to quality of print and overall performance. Also, there are several companies that offer to buy off your empty cartridges and is a good option if you don't know what to do with them or whom to take them to, if you wish to recycle them.
You can recycle or reuse empty cartridges by refilling them at home. The process of refilling a cartridge is a simple process, easy enough for you to do it yourself. Begin with cleaning the cartridge and the nozzle of the print head. Now, get ink formulations from the market. Using a graduated syringe, take out ink equal to the capacity of the cartridge.
If it is a color cartridge that you are refilling, check the color of the ink originally contained in the cartridges, and then get ink formulations in those colors. Once you filled ink in the cartridge, the next logical step is to check for any leakages, whatsoever. Fix the refilled cartridge to your printer and check if it is functioning properly. If not, then make sure the pressure within the cartridge is just right. Note that there should not be any air bubble inside the cartridge because presence of air bubbles can alter the pressure within the cartridge.
Refilling a cartridge needs to be done carefully for the cartridge to function as smoothly as before. If not done properly, refilled cartridges can cause ink to dribble resulting in blotches on the printed document. It is relatively easier to fill color cartridges as compared to black cartridges. This is because of the fact that in black cartridges, the fill plug is sealed with a steel ball, which if removed, needs to be replaced with a new one.
However, this is not the case with color cartridges. Color cartridges have plastic covers on the fill plugs that can be removed easily to refill the cartridge, and can put back once again.
To give away used cartridges, you can look for centers in your own locality that accept them, or search for such centers online. Also, it is important that you store the cartridges carefully and see to it that they are not exposed to high temperatures. So, the next time you find your printer ink cartridge empty, hope you know what to do. Just get it recycled and contribute your bit in keeping the planet clean!