*NEWS*MEET ….DOCTOR INK !
*NEWS*MEET ….DOCTOR INK !
2006-06-06 at 12:33:00 pm #15682
The doctor is ink
Ink Doctor takes the pain out of buying toner
Diana and Scott Ohman, owners of Ink Doctor, the first ink cartidge recycling business in Grand Forks.Larry Ohman is known in Grand Forks as the ink doctor.His specialty?”Taking the hurt and the pain out of buying ink cartridges,” he said.Ohman and his wife, Diana Ohman, own Ink Doctor, the only cartridge and toner remanufacturing store in Grand Forks.Ink Doctor, at 2520 S. Washington St., opened a few months ago.Ohman uses a surgical-like cartridge restoration method he says is new to the area. The result is a 40 percent to 50 percent reduction in price and, in most cases, more ink per cartridge, he said.Ohman’s business works like an exchange program. Clients bring in their old cartridges and toners and exchange them for refurbished items that cost up to 50 percent less than new ones, he said.But ink-refilling systems don’t work for every cartridge. About 20 percent of all available brands can’t be refurbished at all, experts said.Most recycled cartridges contain more ink than factory-filled cartridges, Ohman said.”A new HP-21 comes with 5 milliliters of ink,” he said. “We flush it, check the electronics and fill it up with 12 milliliters, so you get almost 2½ cartridges.”A new HP-21 black inkjet cartridge costs about $30. Ink Doctor’s refurbished version sells for $19.Most inkjet containers can be recycled up to 10 times, which eliminates waste and saves oil and energy, Ohman said.It takes about a gallon of oil to make a toner cartridge for a laser printer and 3 ounces of oil to manufacture a small cartridge for a home-based printer, he said.”Every time you recycle cartridges, you save them from going into the landfill,” Ohman said.
Industry experts say some recycled inkjet cartridges cause problems such as horizontal lines and white streaks in the print or incomplete characters and graphics.But Ohman said he has a very strict quality control system. He and his wife personally inspect and test each cartridge in several printers before they put them out on display.How many times a cartridge can be recycled varies from cartridge to cartridge and from company to company. Industry experts say that some cartridges can be recycled more than a dozen times.Ohman says between five and 10 times depending on the brand and model is enough.
Like no other
The Ohmans were thinking about opening their own business when they came across an article in the Wall Street Journal about the popularity of recycling businesses in the East and West Coasts.”We wanted something different for this area,” Diana Ohman said.They did the research and found out that Grand Forks and East Grand Forks combined had just the right population to support an ink cartridge store.Ink Doctor is keen on supporting the local economy, she said.The couple said they could solicit used cartridges on the Internet and have them mailed out to the store as similar businesses do,Instead they chose to place portable drop-off boxes in churches, businesses and schools around town, so they have a constant supply of ink shells, and so people can get some money for their used cartridges.Ink Doctor pays the companies and nonprofit organizations that host his drop-off boxes about $2 for each cartridge deposited.Some of his best partners are school and religious youth groups looking for money to pay for trips and community activities, Ohman said.For more information about Ink Doctor, call (701) 775-4657.