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New technology prevents waste, saves money
Author: Campus Sustainability Office
Posted: March 11, 2013

Last fall, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) rolled out “hold-and-release” print stations in
in two additional computer labs across campus, bringing the total number to eight labs. The new technology has already saved more than 350,000 sheets of paper in just two terms—the equivalent to saving four and a half trees, 1,593 kilograms of carbon dioxide, and 428,312 print credits for students, who are each allotted 500 pages per term. 

“Hold-and-release stations have exceeded our expectations in conserving paper and have saved students a lot of money that they would have been charged for print jobs they abandoned or decided they did not need to print after all,” said Monica Morillas, OIT computer classrooms and labs manager.

Using software called Paper Cut, hold-and-release print jobs are first sent into a queue and then only released once a user enters their Odin name and chooses to print the document from an adjacent kiosk. The settings reduce confusion about which printer documents have been sent to, and prevent people from accidentally picking up others’ printouts. Additionally, hold-and-release reduces foot traffic in computer labs, by allowing users to print documents as needed and release them all at once.

“Before hold-and-release, we easily sent a ream (500 sheets) of paper to be recycled every other day.  Now, we recycle less than five sheets of paper a day,” said David Bullock, library media program coordinator for the Graduate School of Education.  Such changes also lessen the amount of paper purchased, saving money as well as reducing upstream impacts from the production of copy paper. 

Efforts such as these help PSU reduce its environmental impact, save time and financial resources, and work towards climate action plan goals.