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Remanufactured toner cartridges save money and environment

Looking for a way to save money for your area and increase use of "green" products at the same time? Try using remanufactured toner cartridges, which now have the same quality as new cartridges at a much lower cost.

Office Depot stocks remanufactured toner cartridges for most laser printers used on campus. Based on MIT's preferred-vendor contract with the company, remanufactured cartridges range from $34 to $119, which is 25 to 60 percent less than new ones. MIT purchased nearly $700,000 worth of toner cartridges in 2002 and only 7 percent were remanufactured.

The quality of remanufactured toner cartridges has improved dramatically since they were introduced more than 20 years ago. High-quality remanufactured cartridges now undergo a process that makes them equivalent in performance, print quality and page yield to new models, and they meet all original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards and specifications. Satisfaction is guaranteed on every remanufactured toner cartridge. In fact, Steve Dimond, manager of MIT's Copy Technology Centers, uses remanufactured toner cartridges whenever possible; "the quality is great," he says.

The current remanufacturing process requires cartridges to be disassembled and inspected to determine any problem areas. Worn components are replaced with new parts, all sections are cleaned, and a fresh supply of toner is added before the cartridge is resealed.

The environmental benefits of using remanufactured toner cartridges include keeping non-biodegradable material out of landfills and conserving the equivalent of three quarts of oil per cartridge.

It's important to note that it's illegal for a laser printer manufacturer to require you to use or purchase a particular brand of cartridge, just as it's illegal for your car dealer to require that only original parts be used to fix your car. An OEM cannot void your warranty simply because you choose different brands of supplies for a piece of equipment like a printer.

MIT's Environmental Programs Task Force (EPTF) has been working to improve the level of recycling on campus, and the group also wants to increase the number and quantity of recycled products that MIT areas use. If you have questions about how to order remanufactured cartridges, contact Office Depot at 253-4760 or Judi Bean in Procurement at 253-8348.

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