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Wasted print jobs

cmhoch asked
My company has over 180 employees who use centralized printers throughout our buildings. Specifically, we need to cut down on the number of print jobs that are never retrieved.

We are also looking at user education regarding wastage printing. What is another method of making users accountable for the print jobs they send to the printers?

We would also like to minimized the amount of legwork (i.e., touching every PC) in accomplishing this task. We presently use a mix of HP and Dell printers. We are on an AD domain as well.
 Any suggestion is welcome.
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ITSysTechSenior Systems Administrator
If you have a print server that manages your printers you can have your SysAdmin log in and see whom is printing and what they are printing. If people here print personal things we charge them .10 cents for color copies and .5 cents for black and white. If you do not have a print server you can still log into the printer and see what is being printed. You would type in the address in like chrome like this http:\\\ .
CESNetwork Administrator
You could add job code requirements on the printers.  That way they have to walk to the printer and enter the code in order for it to print.
ITSysTechSenior Systems Administrator

"That way they have to walk to the printer and enter the code in order for it to print." That reminds of "The Office" episode when they gave their employees like 20 digit codes they had to use to print. :)
ITSysTechSenior Systems Administrator

Another open would be to use software like PaperCut Print Logger which would be connected to the printers and would report the user's pages printed and username. It could be setup to email their supervisor if they reach a certain limit as well.
Depending on the printer, you can setup pin retrieval of print jobs, users can then just walk up and enter a pin to get their docs.  So if they never do, they age out and are deleted.  HPs offer, but I think I have seen it on Lexmark as well.

The thing I would seriously recommend is looking at what is being wasted, we use to have a department that generated dozens of copies of a 60 page document (conference planning agenda) probably 20 times a day and each of the recipients only needed a couple pages of the doc and pitched the rest.  We worked with them to better distribute the document and reduce waste.

My current company prints things to scan and email to other users, why not just save and email the file.  A bit of training.

If it is being printed and not collected, why was it printed?
The methods described so far (job code, or print management software) are probably the best. However, print management software costs money, and job codes are only supported by high-end printers.

As you're only worried about jobs that are not collected, a simple, free, method is to use Separator Pages. If you enable them, an additional page will be printed with every job. Details on that page can include user name, file name, date, etc. Of course, it does mean that from time to time you need to collect the prints that are not collected, so there is some legwork involved.

Some simple Separator Page examples come with Windows. The best one to start with is probably PCL.SEP. If you want to modify it, or create your own, the syntax is shown here.

Separator Pages need to be enabled from Printer Properties > Advanced tab. The sample pages are located in C:\Windows\System32
Not a suggestion or a solution, but just some general observations from a user perspective.

The company I work for has a culture of emailing to "all in traffic" or "all in management" distribution groups and not targeting specific people or even depots.  If the email is printed, the header takes up half of the first page.  Additionally they have enforced a company logo in the signature and a four paragraph "The information contained in this message or any of its attachments may be privileged and confidential, blah, blah" footer.  Not content with that waste of toner/ink/paper they include a "Printing wastes paper and kills trees" chunk of meaningless drivel complete with a large graphic at the end.  Often the Print Options do not allow a "Print Selection" option and many users wouldn't use that anyway, so where an email really needs to be printed for the attention of an employee without an email account, it immediately wastes two printed pages even for a short message.

Many of the users throughout the company do not take the additional few seconds required to remove trailing blank pages from attached Word documents, and fail to do a Page Setup for Excel sheets and do a "best fit" for printing (landscape vs portrait and "fit to" options).  Often lazy users leave data in cells of spreadsheets away off the visible page to the right and don't do a Print Preview to realise that it will waste loads of paper if the recipient of the attachment doesn't also do a Print Preview first and realise this before printing.

In my office the dayshift staff have the lid from a box of printer paper beside the main printer to put "scrap paper".  I frequently see all the extraneous "Printing wastes paper and kills trees" and "The information contained in this message ..." footers in that box lid along with all the spreadsheet overflows from the first attempts at trying to print to one page width.  Similarly, as mentioned earlier, there are photocopies of documents that have been taken to scan to PDF rather than just using the originals before filing.

I need to print out various emails and attachments to pass through to the warehouse for staff to refer to in the absence of a computer there and the above aspects really annoy me to the point where I have made myself unpopular by trying to educate people from our own and different depots about the wastage.  I have discovered that most people don't understand what I have suggested or simply don't care, so people like me are beating our heads against brick walls trying to fix this inherent culture of ignorance.
ITSysTechSenior Systems Administrator

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