Lab moves to using recycled paper


Nick LoweryReporter

As South Dakota faces budget cuts that are impacting SDSU, the Print Lab is now being required to print almost exclusively on recycled paper. The new requirement could cost up to 30 percent more, according to the lab’s general manager.

The switch comes as a result of House Bill 1046, signed by former Gov. Mike Rounds in March, which contained a provision to change the purchasing requirements for all state agencies. The changes required state agencies to buy products that meet at least one of three different sets of green standards, including paper.

Bob Carlson, general manager of the print lab, said that the types of recycled content paper that the lab will need can cost between 8 and 30 percent more than non-recycled paper.

Carlson provided an example of price changes. A 70-pound text, one of the most used types of paper at the print lab, used to cost $38.58 per 1,000 sheets. The cheapest recycled version of the same paper now costs $40.85 per 1,000 sheets.

“It’s a concern that I have, but it’s not to say that the overall cost of a job will go up,” he said.

Andrea Kieckhefer, the publication editor at university relations, said the change will not impact day-to-day operations. Carlson said that he has been working with his suppliers to not only find the right paper stocks, but to keep costs down as well.

“They actually don’t have as much recycled stock as I would like in these larger size sheets,” said Carlson. “I think they’re waiting and seeing what everybody is ordering.”

For at least one student, cost is an issue that must be addressed. Brett Cosand, a senior economics major with a business specialization said, ” I think the idea is good if they can keep the costs even with what they were before.”

Not all the types and sizes of paper the lab uses are offered with recycled content, which is a problem, according to Carlson.

“If there isn’t one, I’m supposed to come up with an alternative,” he said. Carlson said he is also concerned about paper quality. Many recycled paper stocks are of slightly lower quality than their non-recycled counterparts because of contaminates that find their way into the recycling process. Despite the difference in quality, Carlson said, “most people wouldn’t notice.”

The changes made to South Dakota law in the bill provide for exceptions to the green requirement in certain cases. For example, waivers can be granted for diplomas, but the Print Lab must submit a written request and wait for the state to approve it.

The Print Lab was made aware of the law in August, when Jeff Holden, director of the state office of procurement management, added a comment to a paper order informing the SDSU purchasing department of the new rules. Since then, the Print Lab has been working to meet the requirements while using up the remaining non-recycled stock.

The cost of printing in computer labs will not be affected by the change because most of the print centers around campus have already been using recycled paper, Carlson said.

#1.1971367:1350798023.png:Legislation in South Dakota has caused SDSU to go more green by printing on recycled paper.:Legislation in South Dakota has caused SDSU to go more green by printing on recycled paper. This new way of printing could end up costing the university more money.:Collegian Photo by Stephen Brua