Recently I jumped into the big printer scene and purchased an HP Officejet 6500A. Its one of the larger printers that HP makes and its an all in one (as most printers are these days) – Fax, Copy, Print and Scan. Interestingly, for me at least, the printer comes with 4 separate cartridges – 1 for black and 3 color – cyan, magenta and yellow.

My old printer was also an HP and mostly the HP brand has been good to me and thats why I stick with them. The problem now becomes that I paid $200 for the printer and the set of ink costs $50 but then I started thinking about re-manufactured ink cartridges. I know that I had tried it once and it wasn’t so successful and the biggest reason for that is because I had to refill it myself. Painful and disappointing and I was half way covered in ink.

I know a lot of people purchase these re-manufactured toner cartridges and there are a few popular websites such as RetailBlue (an Australian website) and a few others and noticed that the difference is substantial – 40% less than the retail value of the cartridges. Theres really no hassle since you buy directly from them and they ship it to your door.

Further, I realized by reading on Retail Blue that these cartridges are better for the environment – it makes sense because many components of a cartridge can be used over and over again because they either have a long service life and some of them last forever and by just throwing them away, you could recycle them. Think about how much ink is used daily in your office and so forth and suddenly recycling the cartridges sounds like a better idea. The process itself to recycle the cartridge looks at the cartridge housing as well as the nozzle, the electronic circuits, the replace drum and is then filled with the exact ink or toner formulation. Essentially these cartridges exceed OEM standards so why not? Save yourself some money, save the environment and go green!

Now my question is, how many of you recycle your ink cartridges and if you do, do you purchase ink from a remanufactured ink and toner cartridges store? Whats your favorite store?