From Waste&Recycling News. By Meribah Knight | Crain’s Chicago Business

First came gold and then came clunkers. Now there is cash for cartridges.


Clover Technologies Group LLC, the world’s largest remanufacturer of printer cartridges, can no longer rely on places like OfficeMax Inc. and Staples Inc. to collect and supply it with used cartridges. So Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Clover recently launched Evolve Recycling, a company with the sole purpose of gathering secondhand cartridges directly from consumers.

Depending on the model, Evolve pays customers up to $10 per cartridge. It also supplies collection boxes, shipping boxes and prepaid labels so there is no out-of-pocket expense for those looking to cash in on their worn-out cartridges.

In its third quarter, Lexmark International Inc.’s net income was zero, down from $67 million the previous year. Canon Inc.’s third- quarter net income plunged 36 percent. Original equipment manufacturers are collecting used cartridges — “empties” or “cores” in industry lingo. They grind them up for their own reuse or toss them into landfills before recyclers can scoop them up. As a result, companies like Clover are scrambling to find enough cartridges to fill demand from office supply chains and individual businesses.While Evolve may be a bright idea, it was one born of necessity. Printer company profits are shrinking, and Continue reading