About freerecycling an environmental reclamation and reverse logistic company for recycling
The history started in the late 80’ in Germany. Working in the field of computer assembly, trash started to fill up.
I began with my partner Alwin together to study the market of resources for recycling and recharging and specially ink cartridge recycling. We both joined one of the first Toner Conferences in Santa Barbara, CA held by Arthur S. Diamond DRC Diamond Research Corporation. (Author of the “Handbook of Imaging Materials). We met with the first people out of the Recharging Industry in US and learned that Toner cartridges and Inkjet cartridges would have a potential value when being re- manufactured.
Back in Germany I started locally in my home town of Aachen to receive Toner and Inkjet cartridges. Pretty fast the market grew by contacting personally the corporations to collect those products. Aachen boarders on three European countries: Belgium, Netherlands and Germany and lies close to France. We started working together with companies located in Amsterdam and Rotterdam as well as Paris and Brussels. In Germany I got huge amounts of Toner and Inkjet cartridges in from Siemens, Phillips, HP German Headquarter, Mercedes Benz, and Saint Gobain. As the usage of printer consumables supplies grew, what corporations collected, I was looking for a partner in transportation and logistic who would fit into the Environmental package. The German railroad (DB Deutsche Bahn AG) with all location stations listed in every town in Germany was a perfect match. After presentation of this environmental friendly concept in the headquarter of Mainz the contract with the Railroad was signed. Now the company was on
“The Right Track”.
Truckloads of cartridges went now daily through the warehouse of Aachen. Inspected, in Gaylord boxes clean repacked the laser cartridges went their way into the Recharging Industry to USA as well as Switzerland. As Ink-jet cartridges needed to be remanufactured with a quality ink we found sources with a company in Wuppertal. Working in a team together the big ink-system for Plotter printer “Think BIG” was born and HP 51608 ink cartridge could be remanufactured with a JetClip© this was the final start for ink cartridge recycling.
The company presented the whole system in March 1993 in Hanover CeBIT. It was a huge success to be environmental friendly and to keep millions of cartridges out of Landfills. North German TV and the Radio station of Aachen presented the company.
In April 1993 Alwin and I we held the first R&R Show in Frankfurt’s Sheraton Airport Hotel signed by Arthur Diamond out of Ventura, CA. It was the beginning to grow Entrepreneurs, Remanufactures, Technicians, Vendors, Dealers and Distributors from more than 35 countries together. Seminars and hands-on workshops on selected ink-jet and laser printer cartridges helped to gain knowledge in this imaging industry. This Trade show became a major strategic force enabling independent remanufactures to compete with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for aftermarket sales. We found the connections to the US Marked and could present the remanufacturing process for the HP 51608 ink-jet cartridge in the headquarter of HP in Corvallis in Oregon, this was the final kick off for recycling ink cartridges.
Over the past years we additional remanufactured Hp ink-jet cartridges 51626 and 51629 in a plant in Anaheim, CA.
I kept studying the market in the US and got tremendous numbers of the use of ink jet cartridges as the market for ink jets grew.
- Stacked end to end cartridges thrown away in one year would cover a distance of over 24,000 miles = enough to circle the earth.
- Every year 1 billion of ink-jet cartridges are sold worldwide.
- Only 3% of those cartridges are recycled.
- The market grew with sales up to 167% in ink-jet technology and in laser 22%.
- Ink jet printing is the fastest growing technology in the printing market today. Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, Canon, Dell and Epson are the top ink-jet manufacturers. Many other manufacturers are not included.
- According to some reports 54 million homes have computers and many have printers. So the average of 4 to 5 ink-jet cartridges are tossed out per year plus all those cartridges used by small businesses and corporations.
- Over 500 million ink jet cartridges were sold in North America last year.
- These non-biodegradable plastic containers retain ink residues. Where do these cartridges go when thrown away?
- 95% of all ink jet cartridges were taken to landfills. 5000 metric tons of plastic and metal every month.
- The recharging industry has a potential leadership for environmental friendly products.
- In summer 2003 freerecycling.com, LLC was founded.
To bring in all the experiences in recycle ink cartridges from the past 15 years is the goal:
“Turn Trash into Cash”
with recycling ink cartridges is the motto in which the company will fulfill to set up a nationwide network in reclamation and recycling. Over 6000 customers signed already in to recycle. The potential of this system is unlimited. Freerecycling.com has a free service to anyone interested in receiving cash back for ink jet cartridges that are empty, used or expired. All handling and shipping costs are paid using USPS. Turn around time is one day upon receiving. After inspection the ink jet cartridges are sorted and sent for Remanufacturing Payment is sent the same day by check or Pay Pal transfer. The idea of Turning Trash into Cash has become very popular. Many schools, non-profit organizations, churches are using this service to raise money for donations. For example: some schools are using the money towards school projects and fieldtrips. Once the customer application is processed, the customer receives by E-mail and mail new shipping lists with price information, which are constantly updated with new products on the market. To get more done in the environmental field a new program:
“Refer a Friend”
started to earn 20% each time a friend sends in ink jet cartridges. Recycle ink cartridges and earn money.