CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County government is swinging the ax and more than 2,000 will be out by year’s end.
Printers. Not people.
A recent floor-by-floor census of Cuyahoga County’s office space spread across dozens of buildings found 3,900 printers or copiers. That’s almost one printer for every two employees.
“It was pretty amazing,” said Jeff Mowry, the county’s Chief Information Officer. He wasn’t here, by the way, when all the hardware was purchased.
“I think different departments used grant money to buy these,” he said. But as anyone who has tried to print an English paper at home only to receive a “printer low on ink” message knows, the real cost is in the ink or toner. And Cuyahoga County has been feeding 3,900 printers. About 500 of them were desktop ink jets, which cost about 16 cents per page.
Mowry said he’s yanked 825 printers and plans to remove another 1,200 by year’s end. With ink, toner and energy expenses figured in, and a new effort to recycle cartridges, he expects the county to save $900,000 a year. The county will lease about 400 printers that also can copy, fax and scan pages – for an average cost of 1.25 cents per page.
Eventually, all county printers will be networked so supervisors can track exactly what employees are printing and encourage them to print less.
“We need to get some pallets,” Mowry said, to accommodate the removal of so many pieces of hardware. He estimates the discarded printers would fill up three semi-trucks.
The printers may be sold for refurbishment and distribution to nonprofit agencies or trashed. Mowry said that process is just beginning and the printers will be put in storage in the meantime.