environmental reclamation and
reverse logistic company for
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
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
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
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
Over the past years we additional remanufactured Hp ink-jet cartridges
51626 and 51629 in a plant in Anaheim, CA.
In 1996 a multi million dollar contract was signed with
Czech Republic subsidiary of the German public owned utility company RWE
Umwelt AG Essen to
build a European headquarter for Toner cartridge recycling
manufacturing in Czech Republic, Prague. With a project of plastic
identification by laser technique Phillips in Eindhoven and Mannesmann
in Frankfurt invited to a workshop. In this workshop we added up plastic parts from printing
consumables into the program of laser technique. The prototype of this
computer programmed ID instrument was presented in the opening ceremony
of the recycling facility in Czech Republic. We were able to design new
products out of resin plastic from toner cartridges. After the Board
changed in RWE Umwelt AG Essen Germany almost all projects in east Europe were canceled
by Dr. Richard Klein, Vorstandsmitglied der
RWE AG as well as contracts. The facility in Czech Republic was closed in
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.
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
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
Over 500 million ink jet cartridges were sold in North America last
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
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. Customers
can receive up to $ 3.60 per used ink jet cartridge. 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.