Print Services Turns to Recycled Paper

Posted: July 8, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nick Walker

University Print Services has switched to using 30 percent recycled paper for all of their operations at Mason.

Effective July 1, the switch affects all departments ordering paper from Print Services, as well as paper used in office laser printers, fax machines and multifunctional devices.

Print Services provides paper and printing for the Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William Campuses. The office is responsible for copy centers, administrative copiers, pay-for-print in several student labs and walk-up photocopiers at the libraries.

Every department has the option of purchasing their paper from Print Services, though not every department does so.

Bush-Askew, who has worked in Print Services for more than 20 years, says the university had considered using recycled paper in the past.

“We looked at using recycled paper many years ago, but back then the machines just didn’t like it,” Bush-Askew says. “It would leave residue, causing paper jams, so we couldn’t use it. Fortunately, since then, both printers and paper have greatly improved. We haven’t had any problems with our current source of paper.”

But changing to recycled paper is only the latest of many green initiatives by Print Services.

“Our biggest change came in 2002, when we took over pay-for-print,” says Hamid “Sam” Kasmai, the technical manager of Print Services. “Before that, when printing was free, students printed 13.5 million pages each year.” In 2003, that number dropped to 2.5 million pages on the student side.

“Back then, you could send documents from home directly to a printer in Thompson Hall. People would just send stuff in and never even pick it up,” Kasmai notes. “Now that everything is linked to your student ID and your account, people are more careful.”

Other greening efforts include choosing energy-efficient printers and servers. When shopping for equipment, Kasmai looks for printers that can use recycled cartridges and have a power-save mode.

Print Services staff are constantly looking for additional ways to be sustainable. “If there’s any other way we can keep things green, we try to do it,” Bush-Askew says. “We always try to conserve. The less energy we expend, that’s a cost savings for the university.”

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