Clearing out your unused toner cartridges… for cash!

If your business or organization is like most, you’re probably storing an assortment of unused toner and inkjet cartridges left over from printers you no longer have.  The office supply store you purchased them  from won’t buy them back, so they sit there, sometimes for years, taking up space and collecting dust, because no one knows what to do with them.

Eventually, someone in the office decides it’s time to clear them out.  All too often those “old” cartridges are gathered up and carted off to the dumpster.  It’s estimated that nearly half of all unused printer cartridges end up this way.

Sending your cartridges to the trash is a quick way to clear out your office space, but once the cartridges hit the dumpster, they join over 350 million non-biodegradable plastic cartridges which end up as landfill every year.  This translates to roughly 1,000 tons of pollution entering the waste stream daily.  Empty cartridge housings are made of plastic, or polymers which take over a thousand years to degrade.  In addition, it takes a whopping 36 quarts of heavy oil to produce a single toner cartridge.

What about your unused cartridges?  Well, the news is even worse. When cartridges are unused they contain a variety of substances that are as bad or worse for the environment than empties.  They can contain particulate polyesters, polypropylene wax and various pigment dyes that are small and CAN seep into the water table.

How about recycling? Recycling your empty cartridges is a good start.   Printer cartridge manufacturing is a $4.7 billion industry worldwide, but only about 25% of all cartridges are recycled.  There are a number of green companies with cartridge collection programs that redirect used cartridges to remanufacturing companies who clean, refill and resell, but this is only a part of the solution.

Let’s get back to your perfectly good unused cartridges.  Throwing yours away may be an expedient solution and perfectly understandable; after all, if the office supply store won’t buy them back, they probable have no value, right?  No!  Unlike other bulky ancient artifacts cluttering up your supply room, like that giant pile of promotional flyers from 2008, most printer cartridges retain solid value, because other offices are still using those older printer models your office decommissioned.   By sending your unused cartridges off to a company who specializes in purchasing these toners and inkjets, you will recoup more of your purchase price than by sending them to a recycling company.

Selling your unused cartridges to  Galaxy Surplus is a win – win – win solution.  First, you keep them out of a landfill, second, you recapture a portion of your purchase expense and finally, you make it possible for  budget minded buyers to purchase  perfectly good cartridge at a discount price,  because the box might be scuffed, or have a glue stain from a removed shipping label.

So the next time your office upgrades printers, don’t throw out the unused cartridges!   You – and the environment– will be glad you went that extra step.

Plant Leather from Mushrooms and Pineapples

Move over Pleather, there are some new leather-like fabrics in town which are eco-friendly and not petroleum or animal hide based!

MuSkin is a 100% biodegradable vegetal fabric extracted from mushroom caps; it is “tanned” using chemical free methods.  Resembling a very soft suede, it is breathable, pliable, water repellent, and durable.


Pinatex is created from the byproduct of pineapple farming, using waste material and upscaling it.  The pineapple leaf fibers are strong and flexible; after separating the long fibers for use in the fabric, the leftover biomass can be used as a fertilizer for the pineapple fields, effectively closing the manufacturing loop.


Eco-leather is a leather-like fabric created with cotton, flax,  or other natural fibers mixed with plant oils and heated.  The layers press together to create a fabric that looks and feels like leather, with minimal waste.  It is more affordable and durable than animal leather.  So far, Nike, Puma, and Adidas have expressed interest in the product.

Business in need of fast cash

Over one million businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2017.  Often times, small expenses start adding up to a company already on the decline, and sometimes small bumps in revenue is all it takes to keep a business afloat.

One way these businesses could have staved off collapse would have been to liquidate their unusable assets, such as printer cartridges. If you are in need of fast, easy cash, look in your supply closet.  There is quick money to be made by shipping your extra unused, overstock, surplus, unwanted, print and fax cartridges to companies like Galaxy Surplus. In today’s economy, nobody likes to see their livelihood go under, and we are dedicated to providing business owners with ways to help themselves stay afloat in the market.

Edible 6-pack Rings, an Alternative to Plastic

A Florida brewery has developed an edible six-pack ring, comprised of barley and wheat leftover from the brewing process.  100% biodegradable, compostable, and edible, the rings are proving as sturdy and efficient as the plastic rings they replace.

Every year, as many as 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles become trapped in the ubiquitous plastic six-pack beverage rings.   Cutting the rings doesn’t guarantee the animals’ safety, as many creatures die from ingesting the plastic as it floats through the water.


The safer rings are created using beer-making waste; re-purposing the excess barley and wheat further closes the loop for the environmentally friendly packaging.  Saltwater Brewery, the Florida beer makers responsible for creating the idea, hopes that the larger brewers and industry leaders (hello soda companies!) will adopt the idea.  This will bring down the cost to produce the edible rings, providing companies with a financially viable — as well as an environmentally sound — alternative to plastic.

Note:  currently, Saltwater brand beers are only available in Florida.  Hopefully, they will branch out, so we can support their efforts to save the marine animals.

Plastic pollution solution for the world’s oceans

An organization called “The Ocean Cleanup” has developed a feasible method to clean up the world’s 5 gyres, or garbage patches.  The Ocean Cleanup Array is an estimated 7900 times faster, and 33 times cheaper than conventional methods. These garbage patches will not disappear by themselves; once the plastic trash has traveled away from a landmass, there is no natural force available to beach the plastic.

Proposed is a very long array of floating barriers attached to the seabed. This would act as an artificial coastline, allowing the ocean to clean itself.  In mid-2016, the organization plans to deploy a 100-meter barrier segment off the coast of the Netherlands, putting the design to the test in open waters for the first time.

Simply put, the floating barriers  will utilize the tides, currents, and wind movement to push the plastic trash into the barriers for later capture and removal.  The hopes are that this passive technology will be able to clean the trash from the 5 rotating ocean currents, cleaning up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within 10 years.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California, harbors about 1/3 of all oceanic plastic waste.

To read more about this astonishing new technology, please visit The Ocean Cleanup.

Why sell your overstock/surplus ink and toner?

There are over 65 million copiers, printers, and fax machines in the world today; up to 25% of these machines are replaced by newer technology every year.  This means large quantities of surplus inkjet, laser, and toner supplies are left cluttering shelves, unused and unwanted.

Galaxy Surplus will buy overstock, liquidated, and unwanted printer supplies, helping businesses reduce excess inventory. Instead of throwing those unneeded supplies in the trash, you can sell them for a substantial gain. We offer free shipping, and the payment is fast; in fact, we guarantee your check will be in the mail within 5 business days of receiving your cartridges.

It’s not every day you come upon a win-win-win situation. By selling your unused toner and inkjet cartridges, you reduce clutter around the office, you keep plastic out of landfills which helps the environment, and your business makes money as well!   What could be better than that?

Residents and Businesses Recycle Left-over Paint

The California Paint Stewardship Program handled more than 2.7 million gallons of post-consumer paint from July 2014 to June 2015, resulting in a total of more than 5.3 million gallons collected since October 2012. Most of the post-consumer paint was used as recycled-content paint or, in the case of oil-base paint, used for fuel, according to PaintCare. The group also recycled approximately 1,680 tons of plastic and metal paint cans.

PaintCare is a Washington-based non-profit organization, established as a California state-wide management program for leftover paint.   With over 700 year-round drop off locations throughout the state, the program allows for residential and businesses to recycle leftover paint. Institutions with over 300 gallons of paint can arrange for a large-volume pick up. The program promotes using up leftover paint, and managing the paint in an environmentally sound manner for collection, transportation, processing, recycling and proper disposal.

There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare location. In addition to the California locations, there are also programs in Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, with a DC program slated to open this year.

For more information about the program, visit

Toilet to Tap; new technology for wastewater purification

Climate change and drought increasingly stress our rivers and lakes. As the world begins to rethink the foundation of its water supply, water filtration technology which purifies raw sewage has proven more cost-effective than desalination. New advances in filtration technology convert human sewage into purified water fit for human consumption.

Very little of our current water supply is naturally pure. There is sewage and industry waste in almost every water source used for human consumption. Previously, water from treated sewage was used solely for irrigating crops, and watering parks and golf courses—the “non-potable water” seen in public venues. Current technology converts that toilet-to tap water so purely that it is quantifiably cleaner than water derived from traditional chemical treatments.

Currently, recycled wastewater is available on an industrial scale for cities; for example, the plant in Orange County California pumps out 100 million gallons of drinking water daily. San Diego, CA announced plans to produce 33% of its water from recycled sewage by 2035, and governments in Australia, China, India, Israel, Spain, and areas throughout the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa are developing recycled wastewater systems. Bill Gates is currently funding a pilot program in Senegal, aimed at providing at-home water recycling for developing-world markets.

Worms open the door to plastic recycling

Stanford University scientists have discovered that the lowly mealworm may be the key to solving the world’s plastic waste problem.  The mealworm can thrive on a diet consisting solely of styrofoam.  The bacteria in the worm’s gut enables the plastic to be converted to 50% carbon dioxide and 50% non-toxic waste.  The implications for this bacterial break down are opening doors to solving the world’s plastic waste problem.

The worms seem to suffer no ill effects from their unusual diet, as compared to the worm control group which ate a more typical bran diet.  Whether the solution to degrading the plastic will involve worms, or the bacteria that the worms support has yet to be announced.  However, with millions of tons of plastic waste thrown away every year, the world will be watching this new discovery.

Fortune 500 companies commit to renewable energy

RE100 is a global initiative to support influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power.  Currently, more than 40 companies world-wide, including HP, Nike, Ikea, and Nestle,  have committed to reach full reliance on renewable power within the next decade.   Doing so can help manage fluctuating energy costs, as well as prove leadership on climate change, a confidence booster for their consumers.  HP expects to hit its emissions target early, with reliance on wind power to operate its data centers.

The private business sector accounts for more than half of the world’s electricity consumption.  The premise of RE100 is to increase business demand for renewable power, thus accelerating the demand from businesses for clean power.  Looking to the future, sustainable business practices such as incorporating renewable energy,  is also good for the companies’ bottom line.   One organization aligned with RE100, Infosys, has saved $80 million just through electricity cutting measures alone.

To read more about RE100, click here.