CURB WASTE & RAISES MONEY FOR EMPTIES

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CURB WASTE & RAISES MONEY FOR EMPTIES

 user 2006-01-10 at 10:18:00 am Views: 55
  • #13790

    Curb waste and raise money
    Schools and charities make cash recycling printer cartridges, cell phones
    Cutting down on landfill waste could help a local school or charity.
    The opportunity for schools and charities to raise cash seems to be growing along with rising sales of remanufactured inkjet and laser cartridges.
    Tired of the high price of ink and toner, owners of printers, faxes and copy machines are buying remanufactured cartridges in ever-larger numbers, industry experts say.
    Big Brothers and Sisters of Portage County started collecting inkjet and laser cartridges after seeing a decline in the donation of old cars, a key fund-raising effort that suffered after a 2005 change in tax law.
    Over the last few months, the recycling effort has raised $500, said Ron Kilchenman, associate director of the Ravenna agency. While not a large sum, he said it could help fund picnics and other extras for the 65 children in the program each year.
    He is asking more businesses to help in collecting the cartridges.
    Collect Inc. points out that U.S. individuals and businesses buy 400 million printer cartridges a year, and more than 80 percent will end up in landfills.
    Collect Inc. is a remanufacturer whose products are sold under the OfficeMax name and other brands, said President Michael J. Frothingham.
    With headquarters in Denver and a warehouse in suburban Cleveland’s Bedford, Collect Inc. took in about 600,000 used inkjet cartridges in 2005 and 200,000 laser cartridges. It also received about 50,000 used cell phones.
    Collect Inc. operates the America’s Schools program, which teams schools, including several in the Akron area, with business groups.
    Schools can get up to $4 for an inkjet cartridge, $15 for laser and, on average, about $2 for a cell phone, Frothingham said. The price paid (if any) changes frequently based on market demand.
    The cartridges are inspected and refurbished at Collect Inc.’s plants in Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Mexico, he said. About one-third of the cell phones are reused and sold in Central or South America, while the rest are reused for parts or reclaimed for precious metals and shredded.
    Dozens of schools collect cartridges for Akron Recycling Center and make hundreds to thousands of dollars a year, said President Greg Loo.
    Parents prefer this fund-raiser to selling chocolate, magazines and fruit, he said.
    “The community can support the schools without it costing them anything,” Loo said.
    Akron Recycling, which has three full-time workers, picks up used cartridges in Northeast Ohio and neighboring states, while distant collectors can mail them free of charge to the South Main Street company. The cartridges are sold to remanufacturers.