SERVING A CARTRIDGE TRADE
SERVING A CARTRIDGE TRADE
2006-01-13 at 10:42:00 am #13612
Serving cartridge trade
COuple finds opportunity in recycling pricey computer printer CARTRIDGES …Oh the money people would save if inkjet and laser printer cartridges ran on Dom Perignon.
After all, the famously expensive New Year’s bubbly costs a fraction of what conventional printer ink costs, according to a November article in Business-Week magazine – $13 an ounce for a 1990 vintage Dom, compared with $34 an ounce for your average brand-name printer ink.
And that’s why Chuck Sawyer and his wife, Kathy, hope to cash in on the lucrative printer-ink business by offering refills at a fraction of the retail cost.
The couple bought the rights to South Australia-based Cartridge World’s metropolitan Tucson market before opening their first location about a year ago in Midtown Tucson. With a new Northwest Side location, the couple is poised to educate the public about the benefits of reusing printer cartridges through an ongoing community service campaign.
By paying participating organizations an average of $1 per used cartridge, Cartridge World gains needed supplies while the groups collecting cartridges raise needed funds.
Even the cartridges that can’t be reused are sent for recycling instead of to the dump, Chuck Sawyer said.
“It’s a renewable resource if people just knew about it,” he said.
Several school parent-teacher associations have already jumped on the bandwagon, raising hundreds of dollars in the process.
The SaddleBrooke Rotary recently wrapped up a fund-raising drive to send phone cards with local troops who are being deployed overseas, said Nancy Haugh, community service director for the Rotary.
The group put cartridge collection boxes in two of the SaddleBrooke libraries for three months, Haugh said.
They collected enough used cartridges to purchase six 55-hour phone cards at $38 each, she said.
“It should take care of a whole group of people.”
The SaddleBrooke Rotary will continue to collect cartridges to exchange for funds for other projects into the new year, she said.
Teacher Mary Roth had the Sawyers’ daughter in her third-grade class last year when she learned about Cartridge World.
She had the class do recycling research and hosted a poster contest about it, she said. Then she began a class fund-raiser with Cartridge World.
“Cartridge World gives money back to the community, and the kids have a recycling program. The win is that (Cartridge World) does most of the work, and our children are reimbursed,” she said. “Usually the kids just recycle for free, but this turned out to be a moneymaker.”
She’s now working with the Canyon del Oro High School choir booster club to recycle cartridges as a fund-raiser, she said.
And she’s begun buying the refilled cartridges for personal use at home, where she saves about a third of what she used to spend on printer ink, she said.
Sawyer said about half of the stores’ business actually comes from other small and midsize businesses. Cartridge World offers pickup and drop-off service for those clients, who report savings of 40 percent or more.
He pulled out a laser cartridge for the Hewlett-Packard 4000 series, which normally retails for $128. His price: $75.99.
Carolyn Harrison, office coordinator at Walbro Engine Management, which runs about a dozen HP LaserJet printers every day for everything from human resources to information technology, said the company switched to Cartridge World in early May.
“They’re the only ones we get all our toner cartridges from now,” she said. “The savings is the most important thing with any company.