Catridges - Remanufactured - Performance


Our staff complain that remanufactured cartridges 1) produce inferior quality copies, 2) do not print as many copies as virgin cartridges, 3) void printer warranty, and 4) ruin printers. Are we required to give preference to remanufactured cartridges?

Response: Yes.None of the areas of concern are valid as demonstrated by years of testing remanufactured cartridges at the Pacific Northwest National Lab and mostrecently of biobased remanufactured cartridges at DOE Headquarters, Brookhaven National Lab, and Sandia National Labs New Mexico, specifically

  • Quality – As with other products, both quality remanufactured cartridges as well as inferior cartridges (both remanufactured and virgin) are on the market.When specifying remanufactured cartridges, either specify ones known to have robust quality control processes, such as

Or follow the guidelines for identifying manufacturers of quality cartridges in the US Department of Energy protocol (http://www.fedcenter.gov/members/workgroups/sustainableacquisition/recycledproducts/recycledproductsfacts/cartridges/)

  • Quantity – To date, the remanufactured cartridges tested have produced as many copies and often more than the national standard for each printer model. The national standard is based on a traditional page of text, which covers roughly 5% of the page. Adjustments need to be made when the copies contain a lot of graphics or other print intense material.

  • Warranty - Warranties cover virgin and remanufactured cartridges equally. As an example, look at the bold text in the letter on warranty coverage from Hewlett Packard (http://www.fedcenter.gov/members/workgroups/sustainableacquisition/recycledproducts/recycledproductsfacts/cartridges/)

  • Printer Damage – All of the tests conducted had a technician evaluate the printer both before installation of the remanufactured cartridge to be tested and after the cartridge became spent. All evaluations showed the printer to be in the same prime condition at the end of the test as it was at the beginning of the test.
Paper – Recycled – No Exemption

Question: Does no exemption for paper apply to all the types of paper listed on the EPA website under "Printing and Writing Papers," such as manila folders and calendar paper?

Response: It only applies to copy/stationary paper.

For DOE Sustainable Acquisition questions, contact Shab Fardanesh (202-586-7011).

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