After the Lexmark
decision came down I spent a little time in reflection. I walked over to my book shelf of ancient and modern recycling books and an entire collection of Recharger Magazine's. In the early days things were simple, I thought. Black and white pictures of CX machines and cartridges. Questions like, "Did you know there were only 2 types of toner
I once asked the question, "Are the Good Times Really over?" I mean, are they over for the Toner
Recycling Industry? We have looked on as our magazines and trade shows have slimmed down in various ways. We have watched the economy slowly tank as the nay sayers have talked us out of spending our money lest we end up in soup lines. So much for our 'consumer' confidence.
Then I came across a REAL old Recharger Magazine. Back in the day when it was still black and white and stapled in the center. We could easily print the blue highlights on the cover page on an old series 5 color. It was volume 2 Number three dated November 1990 and a headline: RISING OIL PRICES, PERSIAN GULF WAR, AND RECHARGING
By Steve Michlin. It reads almost like a coaches half time speech with the team down 2 touchdowns and the championship on the line. He spoke of the possibilities. I chuckled when I read the words... "Currently, the recharging market is only 10% os the Canon engine toner
sales. This number will only increase with fuel prices."
That was almost 20 years ago and many things have challenged this industry. Prebate reared its ugly head and has just recently been dealt what well may be its death nell. Chemical Color Toner
came along and threatened to put us under and then chips
that would have given Dallas Semiconductor a headache. In the early days we seemed to sweat it out from day to day. What will the winter bring? What will the summer bring? How will 'this' batch of toner
work? Snake oil and a host of experimental machines littering the back supplies
rooms; each one a land mark of a milestone of the years we have travelled. When was the last time you put a humidifier in a customers office as a courtesy?
Have we ever had more technology than today? More experience and more resources? Truly there are challenges. Steve wrote to an audience that faced challenges under the threat of war and economic uncertainty. No doubt the readers were still smarting from the stock market crash of Oct. 1987. But with far less resources he sent out a clarion call of hope in a darkened hour. And here we stand 20 years later. Surely it is the hand of Divine Providence. New faces and many changes later- we are still here. The pioneers had something. They could see the potential of the times. Perhaps a fresh reflection on where we are and we we have come would go a long way right now.