Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:16 PM
From what you have said it is most likely that you print head(s) may be clogged, stopping an adequate supply of black ink from getting to the print head and from there onto the paper. This was probably caused when you stopped shutting your printer down because of the waste container issue. When you turn off your printer at the switch on the printer it causes the printer to park your heads so that a minimum amount of air can get to them and dry out the ink remaining in the nozzles. Since you have not been doing that you now have to clean the heads.
First try running the printer through the cleaning process. This may take several attempts to clear the clog. If that does not help, remove the print head. Remove both cartridges and then raise the Grey lever on the right side of the print head assembly. That will release the print head and it can then be easily lifted out of the carriage.
First, take a soft lint free cloth and soak a portion with Windex or other household cleaner. Sorry, don't know the brand names in the UK. Take the saturated area of the cloth and gently wipe the nozzles repeatedly, removing most of the ink on the face of the nozzles. This may remove enough of the dried up ink that the cartridge may once again function properly. If that does not work move on to the following.
Next, hold the print head under running water until the color is gone, then turn it over and run the water through it from the other side, DO NO try to use high pressure as that can damage the print head, just a reasonable flow will do it. When you get to the point where the ink being washed away is minimal, completely submerge the print head in water overnight if possible. Remove the print head and dry with a paper napkin or other soft disposable paper towel. Reinstall the print head and cartridges in the printer and run it through a cleaning cycle or two to get the water out and fresh ink into the print head. Your printing should return to normal then.
If that does not work, it's time to retire the printer.