As the title says, "how much toner is wasted on every print?". If you've ever had a laser printer, you know that either each cartridge has a waste toner reservoir or a common reservoir is on the drum cartridge/assembly.

I want to know if there's a way to say how much toner is dropped into the waste reservoir.

For example: if I only print a line, does the printer dispense the entire sheet/page size of toner?.

Thanks in advance.,

1 Answer 1


This is dependent on brand and design, so there's not a universal, fixed answer. On modern toner-based printers, the average is around 13% of the toner being wasted. Earlier or lousy models can go up to 25%. While it's technologically possible to route the wasted toner from the waste sump back to the print toner, this changes the chemical composition of the toner to have less fusible material, lowering the quality of the print. It is not in the interest of any printer company to overcome this issue, as the margin on toner is very high, as is demand.

  • So, the printer always dispense more toner than needed?. As wroten before, if I print a line, the printer dispense the entire sheet of toner or a space somewhat larger than needed?. Thanks for your previous clarification.
    – lynspyre
    May 31, 2018 at 19:35
  • This depends partially on the line. It won't drop an entire sheet of toner for one line, but it will drop, over the course of printing, at least an average of 13% of toner waste by incident. That said, your mileage may vary, especially considering that some companies have print counts in the firmware for either the printer or the cartridge. For example, some printers will limit to x number of pages per toner cartridge as a "safety feature", which really just ensures you're buying toner when they want you to buy toner.
    – CDove
    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:47

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