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Re: [GreenYes] TAKE ACTION: Lexmark's Passion for Waste
Bill Sheehan posted:

"Now Lexmark is attempting to use the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act to restrict remanufacturing of their cartridges. Lexmark has
designed into their laser printer cartridges a chip that prevents refilling
of the cartridge by third parties.  Static Control sells a device to allow
refilling [by third parties]."

This is a timely rejoinder to Bill Rathje's recent editorial in MSW Management in which he asks the question, "Just How Is Obsolescence Built In?"  In his editorial he cites numerous reasons for why people buy new stuff concluding that obsolescence is not typically one of them.  Rather, it's because people want new features, new colors, bigger and better, etc.  Now Lexmark has provided us with tangible proof that obsolescence can be programmed in, literally.

Although the Lexmark SmartChip is not a perfect example of obselescence, it is a perfect example of how companies prefer to maximze profit by frustrating reuse and encouraging waste, ostensibly to build a loyal client base.  From an article in the February 3 edition of Waste News:   "Lexmark's strategy is based on a business model of building an installed base of printers that will then generate demand for Lexmark's printer supplies and service."  

And you've gotta love Static Control's Swartz's reply, "I've been in busines for 44 years, and I don't think I've ever been as pissed off about anything as I am about this."   "Frankly, they're just putting their own corporate greed against what's good for the country."

I repeat what I said earlier, at $0.025/lb for disposal ($50/ton tip fee), who can't afford to throw perfectly usable stuff away?  And I'd bet Lexmark would prefer to see that end-of-life option exercised more often than not, prebate notwithstanding.

Wayne






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