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Paper-saving print settings coming to a lab near you
Author: Campus Sustainability Office
Posted: May 16, 2012

PSU’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is implementing “hold and release” settings on computer lab printers that will increase security and save reams of paper. Using software called PaperCut, print jobs are first sent into a queue and then only released when a user enters their Odin name and chooses to print the document from an adjacent kiosk.

In one lab during the month of April, hold and release saved more than 10 thousand sheets of paper from being printed and unclaimed, and more than 100 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Last summer, OIT began using hold and release for color printers to minimize expensive color print charges to students. Mark Walker of OIT noted how a student recently walked up to the lab attendant’s desk, looked at the attendant, pointed at the hold and release station, and said: “I just want to say thanks. This has made printing my papers so much less confusing and less stressful.”

Users simply enter their Odin name (not password) into a print kiosk to view their print queue and select the desired document, which will then be sent to the printer nearest the kiosk. These changes reduce confusion about which printer documents have been sent to and prevent people from accidentally picking up others’ printouts.

Print jobs will stay in queue for up to an hour, allowing users to send documents to the printer as needed and then release them all at once—reducing traffic noise in the labs and the need to get up repeatedly. What’s more, users can print from a wireless device—as long as they are connected to the campus network—and then go in person to the lab within an hour to release the print job.

OIT anticipates that people will gradually become more conscientious about what they print, resulting in a general reduction in printing, as well as energy and cost savings to the University.

Hold and release print settings are to be installed in all of the OIT-managed labs by fall 2012. The next labs slated to receive the changes are the Millar Library lab—one of the busiest on campus— and the lab in the Broadway Housing Building.

These new settings allow PSU to progress as an environmentally conscious university and support meeting the goals of PSU’s Climate Action Plan.