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I work at a school where we often need to copy (xerox) short excerpts from books for the students (its all out of copyright). Some of the teachers are not careful to cut off the black strip resulting from copying a book before making all the copies, which means we print off about 600 sq. in. of solid black for no reason.

Is there any way to calculate how much that costs us? I was thinking we could figure out the percentage of a standard that is covered by ink (I have no idea how to do this), and then use manufacturer information on total pages per toner cartridge to calculate the actual cost. Any ideas?

We're using an HP MF2727 for the copies.

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closed as not constructive by David, Tom Wijsman, tombull89, Diogo, slhck Sep 19 '11 at 12:11

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Really, wouldn't this depend on the toner itself? A HP 53A costs around $100USD and does around 3,000 pages (at 5%) coverage. Also, this question is not a good fit for SuperUser and is likely to be closed shortly. – tombull89 Sep 19 '11 at 12:11
And they say Teachers are underpaid. – Moab Sep 20 '11 at 2:38
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Most printer manufacturers state how many sheets can be printed with one toner cartridge. Given that this is calculated with an average 5% "black" on the page, you could divide the pages-per-toner spec by 20 to get the price if you printed only black. Now figure out how much black is actually on the pages you print, and take it from there.

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The question was neither about color nor photos nor ink. Copying machines use a carbon-based toner. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 26 '11 at 5:31

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