display of red and blue ink cartridgesdisplay of a black ink printer cartridge

The state strives to reduce waste by encouraging the remanufacturing and recycling of spent ink and toner cartridges. Environmentally preferable cartridges include remanufactured and high-yield cartridges. High-yield cartridges usually contain about twice as much ink or toner as an equivalent standard-yield cartridge, which translates into more printed pages per cartridge. Reusing cartridges cuts waste disposal at landfills and saves energy. Less energy is used to produce remanufactured cartridges than to create new ones. 

Remanufactured cartridges help state agencies meet their State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC) compliance requirements.

New original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges can also help state agencies meet their SABRC compliance, as long as they are backed by a vendor-offered program that will take back the printer cartridge after its useful life and ensure that the cartridge is recycled and complies with the definition of recycled as set forth in Public Contract Code Section 12156.

The state procures both new and remanufactured cartridges through statewide contracts. These mandatory contracts offer take-back programs where spent cartridges are destined for remanufacturing or recycling facilities.  Remanufacturing spent cartridges allows components to be reused and in turn lowers the purchasing costs.

Contract Name: Ink & Toner Cartridges - New
Contract ID/Number: 1-14-75-60A

Contract Name: Ink & Toner Cartridges - Remanufactured
Contract ID/Number: 1-15-75-61

The following technical and environmental specifications are incorporated in the state's contract(s) and are linked here for informational purposes only.

Ink & Toner Cartridges – Remanufactured

3610-2991 Remanufactured Toner and Ink Cartridges Bid Specification  


Public Contract Code Section 12156 - No restrictions on recycling/remanufacturing

Public Contract Code Sections 12200-12217 - State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign




Executive Order B-18-12 - Governor's Green Building Initiative

Standardized Test Methods Committee, or the latest guidelines adopted by American Society for Testing and Materials International for remanufactured or OEM compatible toner cartridges.

buying tips

Look for:

  • Remanufactured cartridges where the spent cartridge has been cleaned and any defective or worn parts replaced.  A “refilled” cartridge is not the same as a “remanufactured” cartridge.
  • The cartridge company that guarantees their remanufactured cartridges meet or exceed the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards.
  • A supplier for a cartridge to test.  Evaluating the performance will help reduce paper waste caused by poor quality prints.
  • Cartridge take-back programs.
  • Earning "green" building credits under the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard for existing buildings.