Where does the Imprint Go?

by: R. Bright, G. Charmicheal, J. Chartrand, C. Roenspiess, M. Sim, Q. Yu

Course: ERS 285, 1995
Supervisor: James Kay


The goal of this study was to determine the sustainability level of the Imprint newspaper system. To achieve this goal, we needed to fulfill four objectives:
  1. identify the life cycle of the Imprint,
  2. determine the quantity of Imprints generated, distributed, and remaining unused
  3. determine disposal methods, and
  4. recommend alternatives.
Our first priority was to determine the life cycle of the Imprint. We found that it included paper production, information production, printing, distribution, and disposal. Due to time constraints, we limited the focus of our study to the two final stages of the Imprint life cycle, distribution and disposal.

In total, 12 000 copies of the Imprint are printed each week to be distributed both on- and off-campus. Distribution numbers totaled 7 000 Imprint copies to most buildings on-campus and 1 200 to many off-campus locations. These numbers added up to 8 200 copies. A simple calculation showed that from the 12 000 copies printed, 3 800 remained undistributed.

In addition, we determined disposal methods of people having various associations to the Imprint on campus. We administered surveys to students to determine their reading and disposal habits of the Imprint. We conducted interviews with custodial staff to determine how they dispose of the Imprint.

From the results of the survey, we learned that almost half of those surveyed read an already used copy of the Imprint and that the majority of people read it at least twice a month. We also discovered from the survey that most people possess sustainable disposal practices; they either left their copy of the Imprint behind or recycled it. On the other hand, we discovered that custodial staff most often discarded Imprints in the garbage.

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Last updated: June 1, 1995 jjk