The first time I had to print a big document on my home computerâ€™s printer, I was pretty ticked off to see how quickly I used up the ink. That freakinâ€™ printer cartridge cost me a bundle and now I had to go out and buy another. Not a happy day for a starving grad student. (Yeah, yeah, I hear the violins playing, tooâ€¦)
As I went to buy another cartridge, I started to develop all kinds of conspiracy theories that involved greedy corporate computer geeks who want the ink to run out as quickly as possible so that we have to spend more money. And all that waste too! This was pure evil!
Well, that was then, this is now, although Iâ€™m still investigating this theory. Iâ€™ve gotten wise and have been refilling those cartridges when I can, although sometimes itâ€™s not that easyâ€¦..
I was glad to see this recent post on Itâ€™s the Environment, Stupid, that gives a thoughtful discussion on what I like to call the Curse of the Printer Cartridge. Hereâ€™s a sample:
To the manufacturers credit, many do offer cartridge recycling services, such as Lexmark, where you can request a mailing envelope from the company and send your used cartridge back at their expense. However, where all the empty cartridges end up after that is not so openly disclosed. (I called Lexmark to find out what happens with the collected cartridges. After holding a few minutes with tech support, the call center representative told me there is no other number available that I can call. I would have to write a letter to one of the addresses listed on the website for an answer.)