By: Brigitte Berry

Travis Winwood, library technician, has been working for years to combat paper waste. The exhibit is at the front entrance of the library.

Passers-by can now admire the Paper Waste Exhibit, located at the entrance of the library, which visually displays the vast amount of paper wasted by excess printing and its environmental impact.

Upon entering the library, observers can’t miss the exposition, which is mainly made out of the wasted paper collected from the library. The exhibit also features startling statistics regarding the school’s paper waste.

“The inspiration for the exhibit has been a long time coming,” said Travis Winwood, library technician. “While we believe that there were and continue to be many reasonable explanations for this excess, we also believe that the greater Algonquin College community were unaware of the actual amount and impact of this excess.”

The wasted paper was collected and gathered in piles in the exhibit to show students just how much is really used. According to the exhibit, there is a total weight of 227 kg of paper that has been collected up to date.

One display includes the environmental impact and lists the wood used, net energy, greenhouse gas emissions and other facts.

Many are guilty of printing documents carelessly without thoroughly editing them from the computer screen. When the page prints out and it can be seen as a hardcopy, it can be easier to find errors and another page has to be printed. The original piece of paper is then discarded, no longer of use.

This habit results in double or sometimes even more the amount of paper being used than is necessary.

Winwood has been noticed the wastefulness for years now.

“Since I began working in the library in 2007, I have been a part of many conversations regarding the excess papers that are printed on a daily basis,” said Winwood.

The issue is very common at an educational institute such as Algonquin, due to the necessity of printing.

This abuse of paper has a direct environmental impact and Travis Winwood, along with the support of the library’s communication committee hope the Paper Waste Exhibit will make students think twice.