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 user 2008-01-08 at 1:05:00 pm Views: 60
  • #19042

    A green solution, a green reward
    Entrepreneur: Ink-jet recycling helps the environment and saves you cash, too
    time an empty printer ink-jet cartridge hits the trash can, it is
    joined by slightly less than three ounces of oil used in its
    manufacture.     Multiply that by 300 million empty cartridges thrown
    out each year, and suddenly more than 125,000 barrels of oil wind up in
    the dump.

    Mark Tremont thinks a growing number of people may
    want to help the environment while also saving a few bucks by refilling
    cartridges with ink rather than buying new each time. Since founding
    his business about 2 years ago, he has given 50,000 cartridges new
    life.The 59-year-old Syracuse native started in January 2005, when he
    opened a kiosk at Colonie Center as a franchisee of a Canadian company,
    Island Ink-Jet. He followed that with a store in Delmar, but ended his
    franchise in October 2006 to start his own business, i Fill
    Inkjets.Now, he’s hoping business in these environmentally sensitive
    times will really take off under an agreement with Golub Corp., the
    Rotterdam-based owner of the Price Chopper supermarket chain, to move
    into the photo labs of 26 stores in six states.”The biggest problem
    with this business is that people don’t know that we can do this,” he
    said. “I think more of them will see they can.”Price Chopper sees
    ink-jet recycling as “a wonderful opportunity” to expand its green
    initiatives, said spokeswoman Mona Golub. The company started offering
    reuseable, recycled shopping bags on Earth Day; the ink-jet recycling
    gives the same opportunity, she said.If environmental benefits of
    recycling aren’t enough for some potential customers, perhaps the
    bottom line will be: Refills are about half the cost of a new
    cartridge, which can be up to $40.

    About 80 percent of used
    cartridges can be refilled, black ink as many as eight times and color
    as many as six, Tremont said. For those that cannot be reused, reasons
    vary — from printers being run too little or to the very end (causing
    print heads on cartridges to dry out) to used cartridges being stored
    in conditions that are too hot or too dry.Contrary to popular belief,
    he said, using refilled cartridges does not void the printer
    warranty.Tremont spent much of the summer installing equipment and
    training store employees in how to properly fill cartridges. “There are
    300 different cartridges and only about six ways to fill them,” he
    said.All end with a common medical syringe filled with ink, which is
    injected into the cartridge. The fill hole is tiny and at the top of
    the cartridge, so there is no risk of leaking inside the printer, he
    said.Tremont spent about 30 years as an accountant for banking giants
    Chase and Visa before deciding to change careers with the Canadian
    ink-jet franchise. “I liked the environmental side and the simplicity
    of it,” he said.As he spoke, his cellphone went off. It was the Price
    Chopper store in Cortland with a question. “I’m the help desk for the
    stores,” Tremont said.For a list of i Fill Inkjets locations, go to:
    http://www.ifillinkjets. com/locations.html