THE BEST SOLUTION
FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
CLOVER TECHNOLOGIES GROUP
Who is Clover Technologies Group?
What is Our Vision?
How Are We Committed to the Environment?
At Clover, we believe that we can have a significant positive impact
on the environment. As an organization, we are committed to in-
vesting our time, money and resources into creating innovative
environmental solutions that will make the communities where we
work and live a cleaner and better place.
Superior Product Quality and Value
Quality and value are at the center of everything we do at Clover.
Each cartridge that rolls off our assembly lines represents countless
hours our team has invested in designing, engineering and manu-
facturing a product that we are proud to put our name on. Clover
work diligently to improve product quality and value through tech-
nological innovation, automation and streamlining of manufactur-
ing and distribution processes. In turn, we pass these efficiencies
onto our customers, through lower prices and superior quality.
Relentless Customer Commitment
Clover understands that our customers have many choices. Our
dedicated employees uphold a “customer always comes first” phi-
losophy. From the CEO on down, every movement within the or-
ganization is focused on ensuring our customers an outstanding
experience. We are committed to remaining flexible and responsive
to our customer needs. We pledge to treat every customer the way
we would like to be treated and will constantly challenge ourselves
to find new and innovative ways to bring value to our partnership.
Clover is committed to exceeding the expectations of our custom-
ers while preventing pollution and minimizing the environmental
impact of our activities. Clover’s best practices include:
• Avoid landfilling with a goal of zero-landfill waste
• Prioritize remanufacturing, reclaim as much reusable material as
possible through recycling
• End-of-life processing for all assets collected that cannot be re-
• Industry’s only grinding operation focused on the reclamation of
raw materials from end-of-life laser toner cartridges
• Disassemble all products in North America
• Exceed global industry practices for responsible materials recy-
cling and final disposition of electronics products.
Clover is dedicated to continual improvement in all of its environ-
mental activities. This is achieved through rigorous process man-
agement and employee empowerment and accountability for
achieving all company goals and objectives.
Internal Organizational Goals
Driving Continuous Improvement:
Goals are measured daily and reported on monthly.
Recycling of Metals
Recycling of Plastic
Recycling of Wood Materials
Recycling of Corrugate
Landfill Waste Reduction
Associate Awareness Training
Clover Technologies Group was founded in 1996. Clover is the global leader in providing resell-
ers, mass merchants and value-added specialty suppliers with total environmental solutions in-
cluding the remanufacturing and recycling of consumable imaging supplies. Clover is the world’s
largest collector and recycler of cell phones, inkjet and laser cartridges. Our innovative recycling
programs offer our partners an additional revenue stream while ensuring clients the industry’s
most advanced and environmentally responsible recycling solutions.
To provide our customers with industry-leading environmental solutions, world-class service
and the highest quality imaging products at the most competitive prices.
ISO 9001:2000 is a family of standards and guidelines for quality in
the manufacturing and service industries from the International Or-
ganization for Standardization (ISO). ISO certification ensures that
the processes that develop the product are documented and per-
formed in a quality manner.
ISO 14001 is the international specification for an environmental
management system (EMS). It specifies requirements for establish-
ing an environmental policy, determining environmental aspects
and impacts of products/activities/services, planning environmen-
tal objectives and measurable targets, implementation and opera-
tion of programs to meet objectives and targets, checking and cor-
rective action and management review.
Cradle to Cradle Approved
Cradle to Cradle Approval provides a company with a means to tan-
gibly and credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelli-
gent design. It also helps customers purchase and specify products
that are pursuing a broader definition of quality. This means using
environmentally safe and healthy materials; designing for material
reutilization, such as recycling or composting; utilizing renewable
energy and promoting energy efficiency; efficiently using water
and maximum water quality associated with production; and insti-
tuting strategies for social responsibility.
3 Degrees Partner
3 Degrees enables businesses and individuals to fund clean energy
and carbon reduction projects. They do this by originating and
providing Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates
and third-party certified Verified Emission Reductions (aka, carbon
offsets) from around the world to help their partners reduce their
EPA Green Power Partner
In buying green power, Clover receives valuable recognition from
the EPA for helping protect the environment. Green power can be
one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the environ-
mental impacts associated with your organization’s conventional
electricity use. By partnering with EPA, Clover also receives tech-
nical support in identifying green power products that meet the
internal goals of Clover and the needs and environmental goals of
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
(SFI) - Certified
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program is based on the
premise that responsible environmental behavior and sound busi-
ness decisions can co-exist. SFI program participants practice sus-
tainable forestry on all the lands they manage. They also influence
millions of additional acres through the training of loggers and for-
esters in best management practices and landowner outreach pro-
grams. This unique commitment to sustainable forestry recognizes
that all forest landowners, not just SFI program participants, play a
critical role in ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of
Compliance and Certifications
Clover has key certifications and partnerships that demonstrate our ongoing commitment to
quality and environmental responsibility. We work with these organizations on an ongoing basis
to continually improve and evaluate our environmental and quality goals. By adhering to these
best practices, Clover has become the industry leader in the collections and recycling of car-
tridges, cell phones and small electronics.
What is a remanufactured cartridge?
Remanufactured cartridges are essentially reused cartridges. They
are empty cartridges that have been collected, inspected, cleaned
and rebuilt. The process differs by manufacturer and materials
used with varying results in quality and page yields. Clover’s re-
manufactured cartridges are produced to stringent quality control
standards, using lab-tested components to ensure consistent OEM-
What happens when Clover
receives an empty cartridge?
When Clover receives an empty cartridge, it is evaluated first for
refurbishment and secondarily for material recovery through recy-
cling. A remanufacturable cartridge is disassembled and as many
components as possible are reused. Each and every component of
an empty cartridge that is reused, instead of recycled, conserves
non-renewable natural resources that are required in the process
of recycling. Cartridges that are non-remanufacturable are disas-
sembled, sorted into material types and recycled. Clover’s propri-
etary Closed-Loop Environmental Process ensures that every com-
ponent of the empty cartridges collected is either remanufactured
Where do the empty
cartridges come from?
Clover is the world’s largest collector of empty cartridges. Over
90% of the cores used for remanufacturing are from our internal
collections programs. All of the cartridges that are collected are dis-
assembled and stringently assessed. As many components as pos-
sible are reused. The remaining components are sorted into mate-
rial types and sent to recycling facilities.
Is Remanufacturing Really
The Best Solution for the Environment?
As many businesses and consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, Original
Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of imaging supplies have begun to heavily promote their re-
cycling programs while attacking remanufacturers for falsely portraying their environmental
stewardship. Clover Technologies Group would like to set the record straight. Before purchasing
toner and ink cartridges, consumers should have the true facts about remanufactured imaging
supplies and their impact on the environment.
Where does Clover remanufacture
and recycle cartridges?
All of Clover’s remanufacturing and recycling processes are con-
ducted in North America. Empty cartridges are collected at Clover’s
collection facilities in Calexico, California. Cartridges are then sent
to Mexicali, Mexico, where they are dismantled, refurbished and
Some OEMs have claimed that the fossil fuels consumed in the
transporting of empty cartridges negate the positive environmen-
tal impact of remanufacturing but this simply is not the case. As
Imaging Spectrum reported in their June 2008 edition,
The recent award of a contract to Clover Technologies by the U.S. Postal
Service (USPS) also shed a harsh light on HP’s claims. The contract al-
lows Clover to recover the empties dropped at USPS offices and Clover
pays for the costs of recovery. This refutes HP’s claims that OEM recov-
ery efforts are superior and demonstrates that US remanufacturers are
searching for ways to recover empties locally and efficiently.2
Despite many manufacturers moving production overseas, Clover
remains committed to manufacturing and recycling in North Amer-
ica. This stance enables us to conserve fossil fuels with a shorter
supply chain, closely monitor product quality and continually fine
tune our remanufacturing and recycling processes.
How many cartridges
does Clover collect?
Clover collects approximately 2.5 million
units per month. Of those 2.5 million units,
600,000 are laser cartridges and 1.9 million
are inkjet cartridges. It is estimated that
each empty laser cartridge contributes
about 2.5 pounds in landfill waste1
Clover estimates that each inkjet cartridge
contributes about 1 ounce. That means
that each month, Clover prevents about 1.6
million pounds of plastic and metal from
being dumped in landfills.
100% of the cartridges Clover collects are
evaluated for refurbishment. If a cartridge
cannot be reused because of damage or
a defect, it is recycled internally or sold to
How does Clover work towards
Clover is committed to providing our customers with environmen-
tally sustainable solutions. Our remanufactured imaging supplies
achieve this objective through reuse, “green” packaging and re-
sponsible, efficient manufacturing.
Reuse of empty cartridges – By reusing empty cartridges and com-
ponents, Clover reduces landfilling and conserves non-renewable
Environmentally-friendly packaging – All the components in our re-
manufactured products are environmentally friendly, from the cor-
rugated box and cardboard box inserts to the installation sheets,
which are printed on recycled paper. All our packaging is SFI-certi-
fied by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Efficient production – Clover’s manufacturing facilities are both
ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001-certified. Clover follows rigid quality
and environmental standards to ensure efficiency, conservation of
natural resources and environmental responsibility.
Additionally, Clover has established goals within the organization
to drive continuous improvement upon our environmental sustain-
Cartridges are dropped off
at recycling location
Carriers deliver cartridges
to collection center
Cartridges evaluated for
Cartridges sorted and
placed in inventory
Cartridges sent for
Cartridges 100% post
tested for quality control
Cartridges sorted and
placed in inventory
ISO 9001:2000 certified
Cartridges ready for
Cartridges sent to
end of life processing
by material type
to component level
ready for re-use
How do remanufactured cartridges
reduce landfill waste?
Each discarded laser cartridge adds approximately 2.5 pounds of
metal and plastic waste to our landfills - waste that will take as long
as 1,000 years to decompose3
. It is estimated that 100 million laser
printer cartridges and 400 million inkjet printer cartridges are pro-
duced each year. Remanufacturing these 500 million cartridges will
save an estimated four million cubic feet of landfill space.
Environmentally stewardship is one of Clover’s core values. Clover
is committed to reducing landfill waste and invests significant time
and resources into finding innovative ways to protect the environ-
ment. Our “Zero Landfill” policy has been independently verified by
McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC (MBDC)4
as a guarantee to our customers that empty cartridges that are
non-remanufacturable are responsibly recycled.
Why is remanufacturing a superior choice
to OEM recycling programs? (See Diagram 1)
When a cartridge is remanufactured, it is reused. Reuse is the high-
est form of environmental responsibility. It is superior to recycling
in that it doesn’t use non-renewable resources to breakdown plas-
tic and metal. A cartridge and all its components should always first
be evaluated for refurbishment. If refurbishment is not possible
then responsible recycling should be pursued.
Unfortunately, many times when an empty cartridge is collected for
recycling instead of remanufacturing, it does not end up where the
consumer intended. In her recent article, “A Response to HP’s Argu-
ment for Recycling versus Reuse” that appeared in Imaging Spec-
trum Magazine, Tricia Judge, Executive Director of the International
Imaging Technology Council, paints a vivid picture of where many
of the world’s empty cartridges that are not remanufactured find
their final resting place - Guiyu, China.
Guiyu has become the world’s dumping ground for what is defined as
“e-waste.” Sadly, the cartridges that end up here were originally bound
for recycling. Heaps of empty cartridges line the streets and riversides
after being scavenged only for their toner. Once the toner is swept out
by fingers or paintbrushes, the cartridges and other printer parts are
burned – fouling the air – or are discarded along the Lianjiang River.
This practice of low-level recycling and then dumping has rendered lo-
cal drinking water dangerous; the river contains 200 times the accept-
able levels of acid and 2,400 times the acceptable levels of lead. Many
residents have developed respiratory problems. A local school survey
found that 100 of the 1,000 students had severe asthma or other re-
spiratory problems. The residents here have to choose between utter
poverty and pollution levels akin to poisoning. And the net gain for the
average laborer? Roughly $1.50 per day. As Imaging Spectrum has cov-
ered before, it is clear that these empties come from U.S. brokers that
have been collecting large quantities of “virgin,” or once-used OEM
products. Such cartridges are the lifeblood of the cartridge remanu-
facturer, but have been diverted to this Chinese cartridge graveyard for
the simple reason that they needed to be removed from the US market-
place for competitive reasons5
Judge goes on to explain in her article that while a well-known
OEM’s recycling efforts should be applauded, their results don’t
come close to matching the impact remanufacturers are having on
reducing landfilling, “The recycling of 140 million cartridges over 15
years pales in comparison to the reuse of 105 million cartridges in
2006 alone. That equates to 84,000 tons of industrial-grade plastic
being reused annually, not just recycled, thanks to remanufactur-
Just as important as the reduction in landfill waste is the reduction
in the consumption of ecologically-damaging fossil fuels. The plas-
tic in each new laser toner cartridge takes three and a half quarts of
oil to produce while each new inkjet cartridge requires two and a
half ounces of oil6
Best Foot Forward was recently commissioned by the Centre for
Remanufacturing and Reuse7
to study the carbon footprint of a re-
manufactured mono toner printer versus a new cartridge. Table 1
illustrates their findings. The results of this study make it clear that
the large number of reused components in the remanufacturing
process significantly reduces the carbon impact.
In several reports, the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Industrial Tech-
nologies has stated that although the recycling of toner cartridges
does have a number of benefits, remanufacturing is a superior
choice, both environmentally and economically and that govern-
ment agencies should purchase remanufactured product when
. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Re-
covered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends that pro-
curing agencies establish procedures and policies that give priority
to remanufacturing the agencies’ expended toner cartridges. The
EPA recommends that under such policies and procedures, agen-
cies procure remanufacturing services for expended cartridges and
when such services are unavailable or not practicable, obtain re-
manufactured toner cartridges or new toner cartridges made with
recovered materials from product vendors9
Do remanufactured cartridges perform
as well as OEM products?
All of Clover’s products are designed to meet or exceed OEM per-
formance and are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Clo-
ver has invested significant resources into developing state-of-the
art manufacturing and collection facilities to ensure optimal refur-
bishment of each empty cartridge collected. Every empty cartridge
that is received goes through a rigorous, proprietary process that is
overseen by quality control specialists so that by the time it reaches
the customer’s hands it performs like new.
Table 1: Carbon Footprint Analysis - Remanufactured vs. OEM
Life Cycle Stage
Emissions per new
Components (inc. End of Life) 2136 223
Components Packaging 286 65
Cartridge Packaging 980 380
Components Shipping 203 19
Distribution 33 451
Energy Use 761 663
Total 4,399 1,802
10-STEP LASER TONER
1. INCOMING RAW MATERIALS INSPECTION
All materials, drums, toner, blades, PCR’s, magnetic rollers, etc... are verified against our stringent stan-
dards before they reach the production floor.
2. SORT & GRADE
All empty cartridges are sorted and graded. Only premium empty cartridges are used in our products.
This assures optimum quality of the finished product.
All used packaging materials, used hopper, and non-conforming components are disassembled and
recycled to help protect our environment.
4. SPLIT & CLEAN
Premium empty cartridges are carefully disassembled and cleaned with our unique state-of-the-art
process. Through automation we can precisely split the toner hopper with custom splitting equipment
and prepare them for the sealing phase.
5. DIGITAL AUTO FILLING
State-of-the-art automated filling equipment is used to ensure precise fill weights for each cartridge.
Toner hoppers are filled with premium toners, which are technically matched to the OPC’s (drum) for
optimum yields and printer performance.
Each toner hopper is sealed with an OEM style seal. Our quality sealing process ensures a leak-proof
cartridge and ease of installation for the consumer.
Our factory-trained technicians assemble all cartridges with OEM grade compatible components (up
to 75% new components are used in each cartridge.) The assembly process includes installation of pre-
qualified drum, wiper blade, doctor blade, PCR and magnetic roller.
8. 100% POST TESTING
Each and every cartridge is post tested utilizing industry standard print tests to ensure outstanding
performance and quality.
All cartridges receive a final inspection to assure they conform with our quality standards. Cartridges
are cleaned, polished, heat-sealed in a static resistant bag then boxed. A full set of instructions and
warranty information is included.
10. QUALITY CONTROL
Each step in our manufacturing process is monitored by dedicated Quality Control experts. Each step
in our production process undergoes regular and spot inspections to ensure our products will meet
the expectations of the consumer.
CARTRIDGE GRINDING PROCESS
1. CARTRIDGE EVALUATION
All inbound units are designated for Remanufacturing or End-of-Life grinding process.
2. CARTRIDGES SORTED
Units assigned to End-of-Life grinders are disassembled.
3. CARTRIDGES DISASSEMBLED
Components are sorted for recycling, plastic, blades, gears & PCR drums.
Cartridge plastic is inducted into the grinder to produce plastic regrind.
5. PLASTIC READY FOR REUSE
Plastic regrind is reused in various injection molding processes.
6. NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
New product is created utilizing post consumer waste which completes closed loop solution.
2.5 million cartridges processed a month