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Environmental Impact of Printing and Copying

The cost of printing and copying in hardware, software and consumables?

Initial hardware and software costs are often mistakenly perceived as the bulk of the printing investment, where the majority of printing costs actually result from the heavy use of consumables.

Consumables are paper and toner, which vary directly with the amount of printer usage.  Toner cartridges are the most costly consumable item at an average cost of $0.05 to $0.08 for each black and white page, and $0.12 to $0.15 for a page with color. Pages with solid color graphics can cost $0.50 to $0.60 per page.

The average cost for paper is $0.01 to $0.02 per page, but premium paper can cost up to $0.06 to $0.08 per page. One of the most costly mistakes made in an attempt to lower printing costs is purchasing low-grade or recycled paper which has serious consequences. This paper is not refined which wears down expensive moving parts and toner cartridges.

Sources:

Lyra Research Inc., Printers vs. Copiers: Colliding Worlds

Lyra Research Inc., Cost per Page Database

Gregory, Margot M., “Control Your Printing Costs

How will I benefit from the implementation of this system?

The College of New Jersey prints over 5 million pages in the computer labs each Academic year. We estimate that up to 25% of the pages printed — perhaps as much as 1.25 million pages per year — end up in the recycle bin.

The Campus and community benefits include:

Reduced waste:

Estimated paper reduction; 50 percent has been reported at other universities.

A reduction of 2.5 million prints per year saves:

  • 420 trees annually
  • 1,050 pounds of air pollution annually from the manufacturing process
  • 122,500 gallons of water annually from the manufacturing process
  • 71,785 kilowatt hours of electricity annually from the manufacturing process
  • 4,252 cubic feet of land fill annually

Is this really so much printing?

5 million pages in eight months is a staggering amount. To help visualize that figure, here are some comparisons:

  • Laid end-to-end, they would stretch nearly from The College of New Jersey to the tip of Florida.
  • Stacked, they would stretch nearly 200 stories, 415 feet higher than the Empire State Building.
  • Together, they weigh 23 tons. The average car weighs 1.5 tons.
  • More than two acres of  trees were cut down to produce them
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