7.1 Imprint Counts From Selected Buildings

Figure 3 - Weekly Data Collection in Percentage

This table can also be found in actual numbers instead of percentages. This table details the data collected during the three week study period. From the table, we noticed that, as the study progressed, the number of unused copies of the Imprint decreased and consequently, the number of used copies increased. Throughout the study period, the number of papers delivered remained constant. Studying Figure 3 shows that evidently, each week, the Engineering Lecture Hall had no unused Imprints left over. This could be accounted for by the fact that this building is used by many different faculties resulting in a large number of students and staff moving through the building each day. As a result, the Engineering Lecture Hall may be considered an area of high traffic.

Figure 4 - Percentage of Unused Imprints

This graph shows the percentage of unused Imprints in relation to each building studied. By examining the graph, we detected that the Campus Centre and the Graduate House had a significant number of unused Imprints. This could be due to the fact that both buildings provide areas for social activities, resulting in people reading the newspaper and then returning it to the pile. The Graduate House in particular, offers a 'coffee house' atmosphere and as a result readers are more apt to read the paper right there, rather than take one as they leave.

In the Engineering Lecture Hall, no unused copies of the paper were found during the study period. The percentage of unused Imprints in Village I remained fairly low and constant during the three week period. As stated before, the reason for the lack of unused Imprints in the Engineering Lecture Hall may be accounted for by the fact that this building is used by many faculties and is an area of high traffic. In terms of Village 1, the number of unused papers being quite low may be attributed to the fact that the papers were found in the cafeteria, an area used very frequently. As well, because only 300 papers are delivered each week for a population of 1 100, it would be expected that there would be few if any papers left over.

7.2 Results From Survey of Imprint Users

Figure 5 - Frequency of Readership

This pie chart shows the percentage of people who read the Imprint on a weekly, bi-weekly and monthly basis, and those that do not read the Imprint at all. Most people who were surveyed responded that they read the Imprint each week. The second most popular response of those polled was to read the paper a couple of times a month. Out of all those surveyed only a small percentage stated that they read the Imprint only once a month and even fewer responded that they do not read the Imprint at all.

Figure 6 - Types of Paper Read: Used, Unused, or Either

This pie chart shows the types of Imprints picked up by readers. People surveyed on campus were asked to identify what type of paper they tended to pick up most often: a used or an unused copy. The graph also includes an "either" section which was not incorporated into the survey. Some people surveyed indicated that they pick up the first copy available, regardless of whether it was used or unused, by making up their own category of "either".

Figure 7 - Disposal Habits of Imprint Readers

This pie chart shows readers' disposal habits regarding the Imprint. The survey asked people to identify what they tend to do with the Imprint after they finished reading the paper. Responses to this question included leaving it behind, recycling it, throwing it in the garbage, or using it for other purposes such as packaging, artwork, etc. Some people stated that occasionally they dispose of the Imprint in more than one way, and this is accounted for in the 'other' category.

Figure 8 - Would You Read the Imprint on the Internet?

This pie chart illustrates people's responses to the question of whether they would read the Imprint on the Internet. The vast majority of readers stated that they would not read the Imprint on the Internet while only a small percentage stated that they would. Some people responded with an answer stating that they didn't know if they would read the paper on the Internet.



1. High/Low Traffic

No unused copies of the Imprint were found in the Engineering Lecture Hall during our three week study period. This building is used extensively by different faculties and has a high flow of students and faculty members passing through. This high traffic may account for the use of all the Imprints. It is possible that more Imprints are required in this building. However, the Imprint office did not receive any phone calls requesting more Imprints to be delivered to the Engineering Lecture Hall as would normally occur if more papers are needed in a particular building (Zavitz, 1995).

The Graduate House, in comparison, is a building with very low traffic. This low traffic has resulted in a significant number of unused Imprints each week, with as many as 75% left unused. This building is used by a small group of students, both graduates and undergraduates, who usually leave their Imprint behind allowing it to be reused. The regular low flow of traffic in the building does not justify the number of Imprints delivered. This matter has been brought to the attention of the Imprint Staff and the Waste Management Co-ordinator but the number delivered has not been changed.

2. Visibility

During our three week study period, the Campus Centre was under construction. The lounge areas were not set up as they usually are and the newspaper boxes holding the Imprints were not as visible. Consequently, the poor visibility may have contributed to the reduction of the numbers of readers picking up a copy of the Imprint at the Campus Centre.

The number of Imprint newspapers remaining in Village 1 was about the same during the first and last weeks of our study but more Imprints were found unused during the second week. One reason why twice as many Imprints were left unused during the second week may be due to the change in location of the newspapers -- they were found in a corner of the Village I cafeteria where they were less visible to potential readers. During the other weeks of our study, the Imprints were located on tables by the doorways and were more visible.

3. Presentation

At various locations on campus, such as the Campus Centre, the Imprints are placed in large grey boxes. Not only does this keep them neat but it also keeps the newspapers in one location, available for use. But at other locations, the Imprints are only placed loosely on tables or on the floor by doorways. In the Campus Centre, many bundles were placed on the few tables that were still set up during the construction. These bundles were often knocked over and any Imprints that remained on the floor at the end of the day were picked up and discarded by the custodial staff. As a result, these discarded Imprints were not available to be reused.

4. Campus Activities

Various campus activities affect the level of usage of buildings and reduce or increase the number of Imprints used. Activities which may reduce the number of Imprints taken may include construction on campus and students having less free time due to exams. Construction in the Campus Centre was found to affect the amount of sitting space. Consequently the number of people using the area. may have decreased, resulting in a decrease in amount of Imprints taken from the Campus Centre. The number of people on campus as a result of special activities such as Campus Day may also affect Imprint readership.

8.2 Sustainability of the Imprint System

In order to evaluate the level of sustainability of the Imprint system, we needed to assess the information gained through our study of the selected buildings and the reader surveys. The evaluation was done using the criteria for sustainability our group had outlined previously (see Section 2.0).

8.2.1 Closed Loop System

One of our criteria for sustainability was the proximity of the Imprint system to a closed loop system. We determined that the Imprint would be sustainable if its waste was reused or recycled. From our survey, we have determined that only 2% of readers disposed of their paper in the garbage while the majority of people either recycled their paper (31%), left it behind for reuse (48%), or used a combination of the above disposal methods (19%). From this information, it appears that the disposal habits of the readers allows the Imprint to mimic a closed loop system. However, this did not take into account the disposal methods used by the custodial staff. Custodians usually throw out Imprints as garbage cans are often more accessible than recycling bins (Connolly, 1995). Therefore, the Imprint system failed to meet our first criterion for sustainability.

8.2.2 Reduction of Waste at Source

For reduction of waste at source to occur, the number of Imprints printed should reflect the actual number needed by readers. This second criterion should be a main priority for the Imprint system to reach sustainability . Our survey showed that of the Imprint readers, half of them left their copy of the paper behind for others to read, and 35% of all readers exclusively took previously used Imprints. Thus, a large number of Imprints were being used by more than one individual, which reduced the number of papers that needed to be printed each week. Also, half of the buildings we studied had a large amount of Imprints left unused which constituted a large amount of waste.

When looking at the overall distribution numbers, we discovered that each week 3 800 or 32% of the total number of Imprints printed were never even delivered. These extra copies remained with the distributors in case any locations required additional copies. We feel that 3 800 back-up copies are far too many. Because of this large amount of waste, the Imprint system did not meet our second criterion for sustainability of reduction of waste at source.

8.2.3 Environmentally Sound Materials

Our third criterion for sustainability stated that the Imprint should be printed using environmentally sound materials. We discovered that the inks used for printing were vegetable oil based and that the paper used was composed of 30% post-consumer waste and 70% virgin paper. In order for paper to be considered recycled it must contain at least 10 % post-consumer waste (Good et al 1994:45). Therefore since the paper that the Imprint is printed on contains 30% post- consumer waste and uses vegetable oil based inks it meets our third criterion for sustainablity.

8.2.4 Supporting the Local Economy

In order to meet our fourth criterion for sustainability, supporting the local economy, preference for printing needed to be given to the most environmentally-responsible company closest to the campus. Although CanWeb uses environmentally-friendly products, the 85 kilometre distance between Grimsby and the University of Waterloo did not qualify the company as being the closest to the campus. Therefore, the Imprint system did not support local economy failing to meet our fourth criterion.