Toner is a dark, powdery substance that printers use to produce text and images. Some printers can accommodate cartridges that have two compartments. These larger cartridges perform the dual function of dispensing new toner from one compartment and catching the excess residue in another. Some models need a waste toner bottle, because these machines cannot accommodate the large dual chamber cartridges that collect the excess toner.
Toner has electrostatic characteristics. The printer delivers a positive charge to the toner cartridge to activate the toner. It also produces a negatively charged version of your text or images on the printer’s drum. During the printing process, the negatively charged drum rotates attracts the positively charged toner which then adheres to its surface.
The drum releases the toner when it contacts the surface of your paper, because it has a stronger negative charge. The toner is then lifted from the drum and bonds with the fibers of the print medium. After the task is complete, some of the powdery residue will remain on the drum.
Over time, the toner that your printer did not use in the printing process will release its bond with the drum. Some machines have an electrically neutral plastic blade to accelerate this process by wiping excess toner from the drum or finished product. If a waste toner bottle is not present to catch the excess or unused toner, it will fall inside the machine.
The powdery residue will accumulate in your printer and negatively affect the quality of future documents and images. The waste toner bottle protects your printer and keeps your workspace clean. Toner has dark particulates that contain mercury, lead and other heavy metals. It also contains carbon black, which is a known carcinogenic substance. If the toner becomes airborne, it can cause wheezing, coughing and allergic reactions. Individuals with asthma and other chronic respiratory ailments may find it more difficult to breathe.
Whether the machine is monochromatic or color, it will only require one waste toner bottle. Review your owner’s manual to determine the specifications of your printer. If your model requires a waste toner bottle, it will be equipped with a sensor that alerts you when the container is full. The printer’s sensor will trigger the LCD panel to display an error message or a warning light.
You should exercise precautions when removing a full waste toner bottle. Try to avoid spilling the substance on your clothing or skin. Securely plug the bottle openings as quickly as possible to avoid spills. Discard the bottle in accordance with your local waste disposal management policies. Replace the bottle with a new one that is designed for your printer.