Addresses to Send To

Now that you know what is going on, who we are , what the money is being raised for and all of those good things, here are the addresses to send your used ink jet cartridges to:

In the USA.
PO Box " Cartridge " Daggett CA 92327

In the UK.
56 Swallands Road.
Bellingham
London SE6 3JA

In Portugal or Spain.
Apartado 2185
Cascais 2750
Portugal.

We'll do all the rest, sorting through them, selling them and passing the money along to the charities.

May 31, 2004 in Addresses to Send To. | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Basic Idea

Here is a candidate for the next step of fundraising for Spirit of America and similar organisations. Please skim through the whole site and have a ponder on what it says here. Essentially, the two of us here at PH Kothegr have the infrastructure to sort and sell used ink jet cartridges. We would do this at no profit. All the various bloggers would need to do is point out to their readers that if they send their used ink jets to us, then the money goes to Spirit of America and other charities.
There's a whole host of other issues, which is what the rest of the site is about.
If you have questions, please use the comments sections. This way I should need to answer each question once.
What I'm really trying to find out is whether anyone thinks this is a good idea, and if it is, will they support it by telling their readers ?
Also, this site makes most sense by starting at the bottom.

May 9, 2004 in Basic Idea | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Cell Phones

Cell Phones can also be collected and sold to recyclers. There's a few more issues, like the fact that most batteries are considered toxic. Also, we don't know as much about them as we do ink jets.
So at present I'm just treating Cell Phones as something that we can ask for in the future if we wish to.

May 9, 2004 in Cell Phones | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tax Credits and the Legal Situation

This is something I don't really know about. American tax law. My reading of it is that if we end up raising $ 10k or $ 15k then no one is going to worry very much. We'll be treated like a glorified bake sale or something.
However, if this story has legs and we start to get significant numbers, we'll have to register as a charity ourselves. We can't simply send ink jets off to recyclers and then get the money sent direct to the charity. On a large scale, there will be costs associated with sorting. Not just wages for sorters and things like packaging material, but also disposal costs of those ink jets that are worth nothing. On a small scale this doesn't matter, but on a large scale, we would have to pay disposal fees.
So money would have to roll from buyer to us, then minus costs to the charity.
Also, if we are actually registered then we can issue the tax receipts ourselves, and our basic software system is 90 % of the way towards being able to track that anyway.
Fortunately that's a problem we don't have to worry about yet.

May 9, 2004 in Tax Credits and the Legal Situation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Which Charities ?

One thing that needs to be sorted out is exactly which charities we are going to actually send money to. In the US , Spirit of America is the most obvious. But should we also plan on making a percentage of funds available for Operation Give? For Chief Wiggles ? For other things? Pizza for the IDF ? I think we need to decide before we start exactly where the money is going to go, and then if we decide to change that in the future, make sure that we tell donors before they donate of the change. But it is for the US participants to decide on which US charities get the money.
I think that money raised in one area should be given to charities associated with that area. So, for example, any money raised in the UK would be spent on an English equivalent of Spirit of America. If we can't find one, then The Royal British Legion would be the default : they take care of crippled and aged servicemen ( we have no equivalent of the VA in the UK ).
Anything that comes in via Spain and Portugal ? I don't know at present. Probably little will , so I doubt it will be a great problem ( although that might change if Iberian Notes and HisperLibertas join in and translate the offer ).

May 9, 2004 in Which Charities ? | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Places

We have three places that can be used as sorting centres.
1) Daggett California. Greg owns a large warehouse. We have all the infrastructure in place, including an eager workforce of high school kids.
2) A small place in the UK. We don't expect much from the UK to begin with but it might take off there.
3) Spain and Portugal. I already have a small network set up in Portugal . People in Iberia can simply send to my post box.

May 9, 2004 in Places | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

People

Who is it that is actually proposing to do this ?
1) Tim Worstall. English, currently live in Portugal, have lived and worked in the UK, Russia and the US. Run a small business dealing with truly weird and exotic metals. I have a lot of experience of the scrap metal business and 6 months or so in recycling of ink jets and mobile/ cell phones.
I will be responsible for pushing forward web design, teaching people how to sort and pack ink jets and also for all sales and interaction with wholesale buyers. Plus whatever comes into the UK or Portugal.
2 Greg Vose. Major, California National Guard. Runs own small business providing and repairing Russian military equipment for the US Army. Owns a tank repair shop in Daggett which will be used as sorting centre. Lives 4 miles from Camp Pendelton so can drop in on Spirit of America team anytime.
Greg will be responsible for day to day oversight of the sorting and packaging operation in the US.

May 9, 2004 in People | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Web Site Developments

Obviously this blog is set up more as a discussion forum.
We have in the background a server already rented and the bare bones of a proper system. Things like links into the USPS system for calculating mailing costs ( and the ability to pay them centrally ) , multiple accounts, so that people can say they want it to go to " this charity " or that they are sending it on behalf of " that blog" ( so making teams possible ) and also price lists so that people can see the value of what they are contributing. These are already implemented. So the basis for being able to issue tax credits is also there.
So we can make the operation a lot more slick. However, I don't really want to spend more money on this until we can see what the level of response is going to be like. I want to know what you all think about this as an idea, and perhaps see some packages coming in before we get all fancy with the mechanisms.

May 9, 2004 in Web Site Developments | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Ruling Council

I think it's worth having a group of bloggers that oversee us in this work.
There are two main decisions for the Concil.
1) Exactly which charities are we raising money for. Spirit of America ? Operation Give ? Chief Wiggles ? All of them ? More? How are we going to divide funds ? Who gets how much ?
That is best decided as a collective decision.
2) If this works really well then we'll have to move to a more structured basis. Perhaps a beancounter, a manager, real professional staff.
Who would be on the Council ?
Your thoughts are required.

May 9, 2004 in The Ruling Council | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Are we Doing this for Profit ?

Greg and I were thinking of setting up a collection scheme for ink jets in order to profit from it. We've not done so because we couldn't work out how to get the word out. There will be the obvious suspicion that we are going to try and make money out of this.
No.
We are not doing this for profit.
We are offering to put in out time and knowledge for nothing. As volunteers. We're also adding the overheads and infrastructure to make it work. The sites where we can sort and repack ink jets, these we already own and will not charge for.
There are two things we will charge for, to be taken from funds raised.
1) Direct costs. Boring things like cardboard boxes, masking tape ( I think you Americans call it duct tape ), blah blah. Trivia. There is also a possibly larger cost. If this becomes successful we are going to have to hire some high school kids to do the actual grunt work of sorting through the pieces. And we would have to pay them wages. These would come out of funds raised. Yes, it would be nice not to have to do that but I'm afraid we are not rich enough to carry that cost ourselves.
2) After we've done this for 90 days we may want to extend it. If it's something that chunters along in the background then great, we will. If , however, it is very successful then we will need to rethink. It might be necessary to hire professional staff to keep the system running properly, and they will of course want to get paid.
Whether we could do that, and how much we could do that with is something which would be decided by the "Ruling Council". Of which more in another post.

May 9, 2004 in Are we Doing this for Profit ? | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

How Much Can be Raised ?

Interesting question. How many people can we get the word to?
Everyone who reads blogs is doing so on a computer ( I guess?). Almost all computers are attatched to printers. So some 90 % of our readers are targets for this fund raising. Each printer uses 2 - 4 ink jets a year on average.
While there's something like 300 million ink jets out there thrown away each year, of course we're not going to get that many, not even a fraction.
But how many readers do we have ( all of the Spirit of America supporters together ) ? I simply don't know. Some tens of thousands ? hundreds of thousands ? Not sure we can really tell : how many of Michele's readers are also Dean's or John's ? ( All bets are off if Instapundit comes on board .)
One thing I am sure of though. I don't think it will be difficult to persuade those readers to mail in something they probably throw away anyway. I also think that having shaken down readers for monetary support so recently, there will be a sigh of relief at being able to support in another way.
Anyway, to give this a target, $ 100,000 over the next 90 days. If they're all of the expensive type of cartridge, that's asking 5,000 people ( we have that many readers, yes ? ) to send in 4 each. Or to be a little more realistic about average prices, asking 10,000 people to send in 4 each.
Do we think that's a tough target ? Or an easy one ? Or fair ? What ?

May 9, 2004 in How Much Can be Raised ? | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ink Jet Cartridges

Among the many things I've done to earn a crust is to work in a company that collected used ink jet cartridges. As you know, these are cleaned up and sent off to the people who make "recycled " ink jet cartridges. You see the collection boxes all over the place, in stores, sometimes in schools and corporations have been selling them to recyclers for decades. Of course, everyone we know recycles, never throwing such things away at all.
That might not actually be true. In the US each year some 400 million of these things are sold, and less than 100 million are recycled. So there's a fair number that don't make it to the Staples or WalMart recycling bin.
You might also be surprised at the value these things have. Yes, there are some with no value at all ( Epson, for example ) and some worth 10 or 20 cents. However, it can be quite shocking how much the more popular HP, Canon and Lexmark models can be. The HP 51620/26/29 models ( Deskjets from a couple of years ago ) and the 6656/7/8 ( New Colour Deskjets), and at least 50 % of the Lexmark models are worth $ 5 - $ 6 EACH. .
No, that isn't the price you will get if you send 5 of them in for recycling. This is because recycling, like all scrap industries, works completely the other way round from what you might expect. We all know that if you buy a truckload of something, each unit costs less than if you buy one unit. With scrap it's the other way round. The more units you have, the more each unit is worth. This is because the recyclers want to have 1,000 or 10,000 pieces at a time to run through their machines.
So there is a value to having people send all of their empties to one place, sorting throught them and then selling them. We'll get the best price for them.

May 9, 2004 in Ink Jet Cartridges | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Raising Money for Spirit of America

OK, so raising money for Spirit of America was a raging success. The Liberty Alliance ( ahem ) did fabulously helped along a little by those two other groups.
More seriously, as we know, $ 50 k was raised and the needed equipment is on its way to Iraq.
Which brings me to the next question : What do we do now ?
We've clearly seen that there is desire to help. There's no doubt that more money could be used well in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But how exactly to raise it ?
The rest of this blog is a discussion of one possible method.
One thing I should make clear here. All the heavy lifting will be done by us. All that will be required or even asked of other bloggers is to get the word out to readers. That's it, no money, competitions, long posts, entreaties or anything else.
I've mentioned this briefly to Dean ( what do you mean Dean Who ? ) in the past and have written to Spirit of America with no response as yet. So the idea is to let people know what is proposed and try and gauge opinion.
If it's a terrible idea than I've wasted an afternoon writing this. If it's a good one then maybe we can do some good.

May 9, 2004 in Raising Money for Spirit of America | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)