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Old 03-19-2017, 01:35 PM
boffking boffking is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 2,420
How much money would the federal government save if all their printing was double-sided?

Every government form i've had to fill out by hand, whether it was to get a passport, or tax forms, or anything else, has been stacks of single-sided paper. How much taxpayer money would be saved in a year if all these forms were printed on both sides, thus using significantly less paper?
Old 03-19-2017, 01:40 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
None. The only savings would be paper and it would be something less than 50% reduction. Everything else would be the same or increased - printing would remain much the same, but copying and scanning would get proportionately more difficult and take time and duplex technology to handle. Difficult to fax or scan-to-email or -archive dual-sided stuff without hand or machine duplex capability. And it's easy to overlook "back sides" on forms, even ones commonly used within a department, so the error rates would go up.

Also, an awful lot of government forms I've dealt with ARE double-sided unless they're PDFs set up for home/office printing.

This is one of those Louis Boyd/gummint waste hobgoblins that is propounded by those who haven't thought it through. And makes me intone the old refrain, <fx Paul Frees>"Theee... paperless office of the FUture!" </fx>
Old 03-19-2017, 09:39 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
Posts: 11,591
In my home printer, the ink is way more expensive than the paper. I don't know if that's true of high-volume printing processes.

This teenager (CNN site, video with sound starts on load) thought the government could save millions by reducing their font size to use less ink.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:44 PM
Flyer Flyer is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,734
Certainly not much. Paper is absurdly cheap--it's the ink/toner that's expensive.

Let's take sort of a worst case scenario. Staples sells a single ream of Hammermill paper (which is more expensive than some brands) for $20.39.

Let's say 10% tax, so that makes it $22.43.

A ream is 500 sheets, so that comes out to roughly 4.5 cents per sheet.

On the other hand, buying a 10-ream case (which even a very small office is probably going to do) drives the price down to about 1.2 cents per sheet.

And there are cheaper brands which are still good quality. Plus the government doesn't pay sales tax, at least in some jurisdictions. So we can be pretty confident that the government is paying less than a penny per sheet.
Old 03-19-2017, 10:51 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 12,099
Pretty much zero, for reasons already stated. Just want to add that I work in a public library where printing services are offered, and printing a double-sided page is set to cost exactly the same as printing two single-sided pages, i.e. each side is charged as a page. It's the ink/toner you are paying for.
Old 03-20-2017, 12:02 AM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,142
I don't know where you are getting our forms, but I suspect it might be from local offices which don't have duplexing printers. The government DOES already print most forms on two sides.

What is happening more now, is that the entire country is doing more online. It's not necessary to print ANY forms in most cases, including for your taxes.

I'm old, and worked fixing the printers that the government uses, for the last forty years, and I can tell you that the idea of saving money by dulpexing was left behind a VERY long time ago.
Old 03-20-2017, 06:43 PM
bob++ bob++ is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 5,655
Our government is even more crafty. They put the forms online and expect us to download and print them ourselves, some are even in colour.

Of course, they are available as printed forms, but obviously it is a lot cheaper for them if we bear the paper and printing cost. To be fair, a lot of them can now be completed online too, so no one has to print anything, unless, like me, you want a hard copy for the file.

Last edited by bob++; 03-20-2017 at 06:43 PM.


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