Greening Graphic Services

Developing a Departmental Waste Management Program

by Jeremy Steffler 1A Environmental Engineering (Chemical)

Completed during 1B Workterm for Patti Cook, 1995


The Graphic Services Department is responsible for handling much of the printing needs of the University Community. The author worked for the Graphic Services Department and in conjunction with Waste Management to survey customer's on the service offered, and how the department could improve its waste management practices.

Three copy centres, Graphics Express, and Main Graphics were chosen to be audited. Pre-site assessments, pre-audits, post-site assessments, and post-audits were all performed. In between the assessments and audits, changes were made. Locations of containers were changed, signs and instructions were given, and some extra containers were put in place.

Almost 46% of Graphic Services' waste was recyclable. The implementation of a Waste management plan aimed at reducing waste, reusing one-sided paper and recycling, lead to a 20% reduction in the recyclables entering the waste stream. And when the program is extended through the other copy centres, a second post-audit would show another significant improvement.

The Graphic Services Department has the components (copy centres across campus, primarily paper driven), necessary to become a leader in waste management. They have already formed a partnership with the Engineering Society to produce a re-used paper pad, with both the ENGSOC and Graphic Services logo on it. The labour will be shared, and there will be no money exchanged. The pads will be split for each to sell at $ .25. As well the Department is taking into consideration becoming 'across campus experts' on waste management issues.

This project proved that individual attention to a single department, is the best education method in waste management.

A future project could take another department and apply the Greening Graphic Services model.

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Last updated: June 13, 1995 jjk