Is PaperCut really saving paper?


Drew May


The PaperCut system was implemented in the Pierce College Puyallup library and computer centers two years ago in hopes that student printer use would decrease and save the college paper and money.

Frank Brasile, associate professor of library and information studies, approves of the system.

“The PaperCut program has worked out very well so far. It’s reduced the amount of printing significantly,” Brasile said. “Since the student technology fee pays for all paper and toner in the library and computer center, there is less paper and toner that is requested. That results in more tech fee money that is available to be spent on other projects.”

The PaperCut system was developed by a company called PaperCut in Australia. According to its website, its print management software is used by more than 50,000 organizations around the world.

At Pierce College, student have their own accounts they log in to in order to print at the library or computer centers. Each academic quarter students receive $10 worth of printing. If they use up that amount, then they must buy credits to print additional pages.

Sue Cole, a librarian at Pierce College Puyallup, also likes the PaperCut system.

“I can tell you that there is definitely less waste printing, and that I think it’s a great idea to have a system in place that makes people think twice about using expensive resources: paper and ink,” Cole said.  “Any technological glitches we’ve experienced with the program haven’t been enough to make us regret implementing it.”

Since the system was put into place, PaperCut has helped reduce printing by 30 percent at Pierce College, according to Brasile.

“Students can log in to their accounts and see how much they’ve printed and what their environmental impact has been—how many trees have been expended, the carbon equivalent in greenhouse gases released during paper production, and the amount of energy used to process the paper. All you have to do is click on the PaperCut icon and select Details to log in and see this information,” Brasile said.

PaperCut has occasional issues, but the library staff has resolves conflicts students have with the system. When it first launched, some students had trouble printing but as the years progress these incidents have become increasingly less frequent.

PaperCut has seemed to work well for the library and for the students so far by effectively reducing printing.

With new features planned for the system in the future and a decrease in paper usage, PaperCut has proven to be successful for Pierce College.


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Is PaperCut really saving paper?

by Drew May time to read: 2 min