Green Your Laser Printer

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Greening Your Printer
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For over a decade, Resolution’s service has kept our printers running in a reliable, environmentally-conscious way, and extended their life -- to well over 2 million pages in many cases. Resolution has provided us with recycled toner cartridges since they were first available. These cartridges have reduced our costs, minimized our impact on the environment, and given us the same crisp sharp printouts as a new cartridge.

Resolution responds to our calls and completes repairs in a time frame that meets or exceeded our expectations. Their staff is professional and works well with both our IT staff and our users to resolve issues quickly and effectively.

We have found that Resolution’s telephone support and preventative maintenance have both decreased our downtime and the number of service visits required. Their printer service tracking system helps us make informed decisions about printer repair or replacement -- all of which helps us reduce, reuse, and then finally recycle.

Dave Simon
IT Director, Sierra Club

What makes a printer GREEN?

Of course using recycled toner cartridges is probably the most important thing you can do. You may have tried this already, and decided this isn’t for you but the question is whether the quality of the cartridge you tried was really state of the art? The recycled toner industry has developed into an over $5 billion market.

The quality of the cartridges available vary greatly and we work with you to get you a product that will perform as well and last as long as a “new” cartridge.

If you are now using recycled toner two important GREEN questions to ask are:

  1. Where does it come from and where does it go? The bulk of recycled toner is coming from places like China, Vietnam or Mexico.
  2. What is the carbon footprint like for a toner cartridge that is shipped that kind of distance (Most new toner cartridges come from similar origins) additionally offshore toner cartridges are often not really recycled at all but instead what is called “compatibles” which are made from scratch wasting materials that could be reused.
  3. Does the provider you have take back their cartridges and if they do where do they go? 80% or more of the recycled toners once consumed are just thrown into the trash.

We source our recycled toners form US recyclers only. Over 90% come from Southern California. We have minimum order levels to our providers to keep the carbon footprint to a minimum.

We take back the empty core from our toners and either get them back into use or we get them to a bulk material recycler who breaks them down for use in products like asphalt. This sometimes carries a cost to us but we think it’s important.

Duplex printing (printing your document on both side of the page) is also very important. This can be done manually or automatically. We can help you determine which is best for you and if there are upgrades available for your printer when automatic is the best way for you. When ordering new printers we can help you in assuring the options you need are built into the printer you select.

Reuse of Paper is another way to cut costsReuse of paper is another way you can cut both cost and waste. Keeping a stack of “used” paper next to your printer and use it in the main or manual feed tray when printing drafts or internal documents. We keep our used paper in the main tray and load new paper when it is needed. Better yet a lot of printers have add on trays that allow you to switch between used and new from your computer. For around $200 to $300 you can make reuse of paper very convenient.

Some tips on used paper!! Never mix paper from copiers and printers. They use different temperatures to “fuse” the toner to the paper and this can cause black streaks on the backside of the page if the toner de-fuses at a higher temperature. It’s also not a good idea to mix color printouts with monochrome printers (though mono can be used on color) or inkjet on laser (though laser is ok in inkjet) none of this will cause damage to your printer though!!! There is one hazard however and that’s a staple!! Anything that has been stapled should go straight to the recycle bin, even if the staple has been removed

Lastly keeping your printer serviced correctly with high quality “green” parts is very important. Most electronic components and sub assemblies are “rebuilt these days for printers and computers. Who rebuilds these parts and where they do it makes a difference! As with toner if the “dead” part is sent to China to be rebuilt then back for use here it has a BIG carbon footprint and usually like toner lower quality. Again we use only US suppliers that rebuild parts to meet or exceed the manufacturer’s specifications. The cost is higher but that is usually offset by longer part life and fewer paper jams (never try to use paper that has been crumpled)

Small parts like feed rollers can be made less expensive by using cheaper rubber and plastic. The cheaper rubber tends to “chip” though and this increases jams and the rubber “dust” can get into places that will cause damage to your printer or the toner cartridge. We replace rollers with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts.

Most printers no longer need preventative maintenance (if you are using quality reman or OEM toner) as they have internal counters that flash a Maintenance Message. This trigger means it’s time for the wear and tear items that are known to fail to be replaced.

If one of these parts is called the transfer roller is often either not replaced or replaced with one of poor quality. The transfer roller electro statically pulls the toner from the cartridge onto the paper. If this is not done effectively toner particulate can escape transfer and be instead blown throughout the printer wear it can cause increase wear, poor image quality and be blasted into the office environment for you to breath.

You may remember that study released awhile back? You may have noticed that one model of printer landed in two categories – High Emitter and Low Emitter. We think this was due to a bad or worn transfer roller being present in the High Emitter.

Many Maintenance Kits (the package contains all the parts to resolve the maintenance message) have inferior transfer rollers or lack adequate instructions for untrained technicians to install them correctly.

Is it time to replace your old printer? A lot of people see a high repair bill as being the signal. What happens though is they buy that new printer and then face the same repair bill about 100,000 to 200,000 pages later If they had had the repair done instead they would have gotten the same number of pages from the new wear and tear parts. This would have saved them money in the long run and kept another printer from the landfill.

Are you buying the right printer? Inkjet printers are not meant to be repaired. Parts are not usually available from the manufacturer, or any other sources. Even wear and tear parts! This equates to a moderately used printer requiring replacement about every 3 years!!! Color laser printers and MFP’s have come way down in price and by choosing laser over inkjet you can not only get more than twice the life span, you will also usually more that save the added equipment cost in supplies alone.

If you are considering a new printer (some lasers are greener than others) or have any questions regarding how to minimize your laser printing’s impact on the environment, give us a call.