The end result is that a great deal of waste ink is generated that eventually fills the bottom of the printer where Epson has installed the waste pads. Epson must warn you when these service items are nearing the end of their life. In fact, when a certain amount of ink has been wasted, the printer will lock up with a message on the users computer telling them to send the printer in for service repair.
When you first see this message, you can actually reset the waste ink counter so that the printer does not lock up. There is a free universal waste ink counter resetter software here: http://www.2manuals.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=10&products_id=1149
When you install our external waste ink bottle to your desktop model printer, you can reset the counter when needed (and avoid a $200 trip to the service center).
If you're curious how much waste ink is collected and how often you will need to empty the bottle...look at the following usage notes from our own Epson 2400 printer.
From March 6 to April 29 we turned the printer on 29 times, changed the 30 carts, and did 45 head cleanings. We measured 280cc (almost 10oz) of waste ink.
With the Epson 2200 from March 6 to April 29 after doing 34 head cleanings, changed 16 carts, and turn the printer on 15 times, we filled 3/4 of a 4 ounce waste bottle.
Each Epson printer model produces it's own waste ratio. But, it is startling how much ink is wasted! Perhaps we can say that as much as 35% of the ink you buy is wasted during the automated and manual head cleaning operations.