'Duplex" rebellion

Upper management has decided to "go green."  They asked for volunteers for a greening committee, and the committee has issued some procedures to begin with the new year (cleaning products, paper products, landscaping practices around building, etc.)

The one recommendation that is causing a rebellion is that all printing and photocopying be printed on both sides or "duplexed" or that more than one page be printed on each sheet of paper.

Now we are getting deluged with complaints from employees. We don't have any duplex copiers, so people will have to print one page, and then reinsert it in the paper drawer to print on the next page (or do this for several pages).  This is time consuming and causes a back up at our copiers (we only have one per department).

Also, people who have poor eyesight are complaining about printing more than one page on a sheet as they have difficulty reading it or reading small print will give them headaches.

Any ideas on compromise here?  Don't think duplex copiers are in our budget.


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • i don't think your company's plan will be effective as it pertains to copying on both sides of paper. asking employees to print one page at a time so they can flip over and copy on the other seems just sort of the tedious thing that won't get done. another approach might to recycle paper. when i was in elementary school our teachers would reuse paper all the time.  they would print on one side of paper for one project and use the other side to print something else later on (their concern was saving money and not so much saving the environment).  you can have a box of recycled paper employees can use to print materials that arne't for public consumption.  for materials that are for public consumption you can have a box of fresh paper.


    you'll have to look up whether getting new copiers that can duplex is better for the environment than using the current model. i have read that keeping a major household aplliance like a refridgerator that is younger than 8 years old  is better for the neviromment than buying a new energy-efficient one.

  • I understand the need to go green. We have initiated some things here at my company as well, but lets look at the overall picture here. The company is trying to do a good thing for the environment but it has backfired in other areas. You have employees trying to do their jobs (copying, printing something) that is now taking at least twice as long to do because of the equipment.  The other thing is that many copiers/printers that aren't set up to have duplex can actually have issues if paper with ink on it is sent through the printer/copier a second time. It gets on the rollers and other parts and can develop into problems.  Is it really worth it in the long run to go through all this?

    Could you actually just recycle the paper?  Are you recycling paper that has been used but not needed?  Our office building recycles paper and cardboard for us along with plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass. 

    Another option would be to maybe have a stack of paper to be reused that only has a couple of things on the other side (you know when you print out an email and only one line or even just a page number ends up on the 2nd or 3rd page and it is a total waste of paper!)

  • IT HR-thanks for the info on the rollers and ink.  I wasn't aware of this, but I will pass info along.

    Yes, in the office section, we each have a box to recycle paper.  However, I'm not here when the cleaners come, but I hear through the grapevine that they just dump everything into one giant bin.

    In our manufacturing facility, there are bins for cardboard and paper to be recycled and in the kitchens/lunchroom, we have bins for plastic and cans.

    I try to bring home paper that I would recycle so my kids can draw on the other side.

  • While I appluad the effort to go green, I agree with others that the time spent trying to get the copying right on both sides is a bit out there. Not to mention, if your employees are like ours, how much paper are they wasting trying to make sure they get it in the right way so it prints right? For most people this should be simple but I witness this on a daily basis with letterhead being inserted in a copier the wrong way. The paper then gets thrown away. I imagine this probably happens quite a bit in your situation as well. Maybe they could do the other things and hold off on the copy paper for now. I know if I had to do that daily I would be ready to scream!
  • Printing small or printing duplex on cheap paper = waiting for the ADA complaint to surface.

    Manually flipping pages to copy duplex = more green and more labor cost and bad attitudes.

    I think the committee simply requested something that sounds good on the surface but is not practice from a business standpoint.  That should be sufficient to kill it right there.

    You could look into using legal paper instead of two pages for documents that will be more than one but less than 2 pages in length.  everyone hates legal because it doesn't fit into anything but, overall, that's one way you could save paper in all those 1.5 page meeting memos.  Going the other way, print 2x 1/2 page documents and cut 'em.  Every department would probably dance if they could get a good paper cutter.

    Also, take some of the paper that your green committee has undoubtedly sent off for recycling and cut it 4 ways and make small note pads for phone messages and the like.  Only documents with who-cares info, of course, but that's one good way.

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