FILL’ER UP AT FILLINK STATION
FILL’ER UP AT FILLINK STATION
2005-10-07 at 11:30:00 am #13212
Fill ‘er up at Fillink Station
Save environment and money with inkjet cartridge refills
Anyone who uses an inkjet
printer knows that the frequent replacement of cartridges can get
expensive. A new business in Southridge Mall is designed to relieve
some of that cost, while also doing a good turn for the environment.
Greg Ellis opened the Fillink Station in June. Services include refills
of empty inkjet cartridges, toner cartridge remanufacturing, and sales
of both generic photographic paper and cartridges. Ellis also runs
color and black and white copies at a discounted rate starting at 9
cents a copy.
“A customer can save from 45 to 60 percent, just by bringing in a used
cartridge for a refill,” he said. Ellis injects cartridges with ink by
hand, in a process he said maintains the integrity of the container
much longer than those injected by machine.
Ellis said that cartridges are most viable when they’ve just run out of
ink, and haven’t yet dried out. Inks he uses are the same chemical
formula as the original, and he fills cartridges to their capacity -
which he said isn’t always the case when they’re new.
“I can refill a cartridge a dozen times, which is something I don’t
think anyone else around here can do,” he said. He also offers a 30-day
guarantee if the refill doesn’t work, which includes the remanufactured
laser toner cartridges that he sends out to be serviced. Ellis said
that if he can’t refill a particular cartridge, he offers a compatible
generic brand, sold at 40 percent to 50 percent less than the name
“This is a full-service business, and we don’t want anyone leaving dissatisfied,” Ellis said.
The bulk of Ellis’s customers include digital-format photographers and
small business owners. Midman’s Automotive and Detail owner Elfonda
Seals said he’s glad he’s developed the habit of taking his cartridges
into the Fillink Station for refills.
“We print up a lot of our own advertisements, which include fliers and
business cards, so we go through quite a bit of ink,” Seals said.
Seals said it’s important to save money, but he also appreciates the
fact that his cartridges aren’t contributing to landfill waste.
“I’ve used the same two cartridges for a long time, and I’m satisfied
with the quality of the refill,” he said. “I also personally feel that
the less you throw away is a benefit to the environment.”
Ellis said that a lot of his customers share a sense of value for
recycling. “A gallon of oil is required to make every new cartridge,
and 780 million of them accumulate in North American landfills
annually,” he said. “It takes so much money to manufacture the
cartridge, and about a thousand years for them to finally dissolve in
the dump. I think recycling a product like this makes a lot of sense.”
Ellis is in something of a recycle mode himself. A surveyor for 26
years and frequently on the road, he said he was ready for a career
change. He said the shift to working in one location, and the chance to
get to know customers and other mall vendors has been refreshing.
“Even though I’m at the store 70 hours a week, I actually have much
more of a home life now,” he said. “It’s been a healthy change.”