We recycle everything!
- Paper. We fill a 40' tractor/trailer rig once a week with our waste paper. There is no doubt about it. Printers generate a lot of waste. The sheets we use to set up the press, the trim that comes off the side of a book when we bind it, the corrogated cartons that paper is shipped to us in is all recycled back into paper for us to use again in the future.
- Ink. Our left over ink is used to pave California streets. You heard me right..it is converted to asphalt.
- Plates. Our printing plates are made of Aluminum. We collect them and several times a year recycle them. We used to also recycle the chemistry from our plate making process but have converted to a new technology that only requires water and a little bit of gum arabic to process our plates. This is another example where researching new technologies led to a cleaner process and a better quality print product. The plates and the plate imager are both products of Agfa Corporation.
- Plastics. Everyday pallets of paper are sent to us shrink wrapped and plastic banded to protect the load in transit. We collect all that plastic and recycle it. We use biodegradable pallet wrap material at Community Printers so if someone is not as conscientious and the plastic ends up in the land fill it will break down. We are trying to find a source for biodegradable shrink wrap material for our shrink wrap machines. We are still working on that but we have added a paper banding machine so that we can eliminate plastic altogether for many jobs requiring bundling.
- We even recycle old buildings. We were looking at replacing a delapidated storage shed behind Community Printers that had no foundation and was falling down. The replacement building was over $1,000,000. We met with builders who told us the structure was sound but that the foundation was failing. We lifted the building, poured a new foundation, put in new air tight windows,doors and insulation, all for 1/10th of the price. It is not as slick looking as our original plan...but it is very functional. The 75 year old redwood timber have at least another 100 years life to them now.
- BioDiesel. If you live in the Santa Cruz area, no doubt you have seen our white truck with the big red logo. For 4 years we have powered it with BioDiesel. There were a few skeptics initially who said that it would wreck the engine but our staff researched the options and determined it was safe to proceed. They were right.
Sustainability is as much about attitude as anything else.