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 user 2005-10-07 at 11:31:00 am Views: 75
  • #13147

    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.”