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At the request of the University of Iowa Student Government, ITS has modified all capable ITC Printing facilities to default to double-sided (duplex) printing. This change impacts all ITC Printing users and supports sustainable computing by saving an estimated 1.75 million sheets of paper per semester.  Single-sided printing will continue to be available, but it will be a user option to choose single-sided at the time of printing. All default printing will be duplex mode.

The University of Iowa Student Government requested that ITC Printing default to duplex printing. This change is in support of sustainable computing on campus.

To save paper and lessen the environmental impact of campus printing. This change is estimated to save 1.75 million sheets of paper per semester. Also see See Who requested for ITC Printing to set duplex printing as the default option?

The duplex printing change was implemented during the 2009 Spring Break week, March 14-22, 2009.

All ITC Printing users, including students, faculty and staff.

Yes, single-sided printing continues to be available, but is now a user option chosen during the printing process. In the past choosing duplex was a user option. The two choices have simply been reversed. ITS plans to simplify the single or double sided printing configuration in conjunction with this configuration change.

Duplex printing does save paper and is the primary reason this change is occurring. However, paper is the least expensive component of the printing process. Because of this, no discount will be offered. Most of the cost in ITC Printing is due to printer hardware, toner, staff and general maintenance. A single sheet of paper costs roughly $0.004. While this change has significant environmental impact, it has little economic weight.

All black and white ITC printers are now configured to print your document double-sided. Color printers will continue to print single-sided, but are also capable of duplex printing. Any printer with the following sticker is duplex capable.

No, color printers will continue to be single sided due to the nature of color printing. Most color print outs are intended as single-sided documents so the color printers will not be changed. Duplex printing is available on the color ITC printers, but it is a user option.

Yes, the following message was emailed to all students:

“Starting after spring break, The University of Iowa, ITS and the University of Iowa Student Government are initiating a change in helping the UI population reduce their carbon footprint.

All ITC printers will print two-sided as their default setting, saving an estimated 3 to 4 million pieces of paper per year. This initiative is part of UISG's effort to facilitate a greener campus and foster a more environmentally conscious student body.”

Yes, because the paper has to be flipped during the process it takes slightly longer to print. Our tests show that a 25-page Microsoft Word document printed single-sided in 32.41 seconds and double-sided in 48.32 seconds.

Before implementing the change it was estimated that we could save around 1.75 million sheets of paper per semester. Now that the change has been made we also have better numbers. We estimate the first week of duplex printing saved roughly 150,000 sheets of paper. 

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Last updated: 
January 4, 2017