Close the Loop USA (CTL) lives up to its name.
Literally, it closes the loop of consumption, disposal, landfill waste and refuse incineration for print consumables such as inkjet cartridges, drum units, copier bottles and more.
Through innovative technologies and programs, CTL ensures that zero waste is created in the process of recycling imaging consumables, of which 80 percent end up in landfills each year.
This process began with the efforts of a team of Australian engineering firms and recycling experts, led by Dr. John Scheirs, who shared the vision of helping the environment by eliminating this potentially harmful waste.
Since CTL began setting up a state-of-the-art recycling center in Hebron, Kentucky, in 2007, the organization has collected millions of such consumables from customers for reuse.
"We either sell the plastics that are reusable back into the market, or give them back to the manufacturers for them to use to make similar products," says Jim Tocash, Vice President-General Manager of CTL.
In order to encourage businesses and consumers to contribute their used printing consumables, CTL has launched a multi-vendor collection program and forged partnerships with Toshiba USA, Lexmark and Earth911.com
The secret weapon in CTL's arsenal is its 'Green Machine.'
True to its name, this handy piece of green technology allows for all-in-one recycling of toner cartridges and bottles, drum units, fuser assemblies and more.
At present, CTL has only one on site, with a second scheduled to arrive in April or May of this year.
"We expect that, through those two machines, we'll put ten million plus cartridges through them this year," Tocash says.
As legislation for proper electronics waste disposal evolves and matures, more environmentally friendly methods like CTL's will come into demand. CTL is well aware and has prepared to capitaliz on this trend with another expansion planned that would bring its recyclables from across the world to its facilities in Hebron, Kentucky and Somerton, Australia to process them for reuse.
Alongside reuse in the form of further printing consumables, the raw materials are also used to create CTL's truly revolutionary patent-pending technology and solution to plastic waste: eLumber.
It looks and feels like wood, and can even be worked and shaped with woodworking tools. Composed of 100% polystyrene and other styrenic plastics, eLumber is ideal for constructing fences, garden edging, outdoor furniture, sound barriers and more.
In many ways, eLumber trumps hardwood and its standard plastic alternatives. A few examples: eLumber is UV retardant, non-porous, and keeps bacteria and insects at bay. Not to mention, it takes to paint, varnish and glue better than other types of plastic lumber, and ultimately reduces dependence on trees; another point for the environment.
At present, eLumber is only manufactured in Australia, but Tocash assures that this will change when production of this promising technology begins in the US during the second half of this year.
And with the addition of eLumber, a second Green Machine and some new contracts, Tocash says CTL will double its workforce in the next three months, from 20 to around 40.
Coupled with 100 percent growth in the last fiscal year, CTL is poised for continued success.
"Our plan is to double this year, and double next year, and double the year after," Tocash says confidently.