Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 70: Purchasing

Purchasing, Using, and Recycling Multipurpose Paper

BPPM 70.37

For more information contact:
   Supply Management Services


WSU personnel are to observe the requirements in this section. This section addresses:

  • Purchasing multipurpose paper with recycled content.
  • Reducing paper usage.
  • Recycling used paper.

State regulations require that all state agencies purchase 100 percent recycled content white cut sheet bond paper for use in office printers and copiers. (RCW 43.19A)

University policy mandates the efficient use of state resources. (Executive Policy Manual 24).


Multipurpose paper is paper of letter and legal size that includes, but is not limited to, paper used for ink jet and laser printers, copiers, and fax machines.

Purchasing Procedures

Paper for Office Printers and Copiers

Departments are to purchase 100 percent recycled content white cut sheet bond paper for use in office printers and copiers. (RCW 43.19A)

The state legislature encourages state agencies and departments to give priority to purchasing from companies that produce paper in facilities that generate energy from renewable energy sources. (RCW 43.19A) University departments are encouraged to purchase white cut sheet bond paper from University Stores (see BPPM 70.35).


Departments using office printers and copiers which are unable to be calibrated to use 100 percent recycled content paper are to purchase paper with the highest recycled content that can be used efficiently by the printers and copiers.

At the time of lease renewal or at the end of the printer or copier’s life cycle, the department is to lease or purchase a model that efficiently uses 100 percent recycled content white cut sheet bond paper.

Paper for High Volume Production

Printed projects that require the use of high volume production inserters or high-speed digital devices, such as those used by University Publishing/CougarCopies, are not required to meet the 100 percent recycled content white cut sheet bond paper requirement. Printing services departments are to use the highest recycled content paper that can be used efficiently by such equipment. (RCW 43.19A)

Paper for Other Purposes

Departments are to purchase non-white multipurpose papers that have a minimum of 30 percent recycled content, with a higher percentage of recycled content preferred.

Departments are encouraged to purchase letter and legal-size multipurpose papers from either University Stores or a contract supplier (see State Contract Suppliers below). Note: If the department purchases multipurpose paper from a contract supplier, the paper must have a minimum of 30 percent recycled content.


University Stores

For University Stores’ ordering procedures, see BPPM 70.35.

State Contract Suppliers

The current state supplier contracts are available from Washington Department of Enterprise Services (DES).

To view the current paper supplier contracts:

Click on Search Current Contracts, then
Enter the word “paper” in the Keyword contract search field.

WSU Contract Suppliers

View the current WSU supplier contracts at Purchasing Services.

Reduce Paper Usage

Departments are to reduce overall paper use. Departments are to use multipurpose paper efficiently and avoid wasting state resources.

Recommended practices to reduce multipurpose paper use are described below:

  • Set copier default to copy on both sides of a sheet of paper. Copier service technicians can change this default setting for most duplex copiers.
  • Reuse paper by using a blank side of a previously used sheet for a separate purpose. Keep a tray of previously used paper next to the office printer or copier. Load the manual input or automatic feed trays with the previously used sheets.
    Note: Do not reuse paper previously printed with confidential information, e.g., student identifiers. Such paper must be shredded prior to recycling.
  • Reduce paper weight. Heavier weight sheets use more fiber and cost more per sheet than lighter weight sheets. Example: 24 lb. copier paper uses 16 percent more fiber than 20 lb. copier paper uses and is more expensive.
  • Make copies as needed rather than in large batches at one time. Extra copies frequently become outdated or unusable.
  • Maintain up-to-date mailing lists. Avoid wasting copies on undeliverable items.
  • Enforce access codes for copier machines, printers, and fax machines.
  • Use electronic mail for interoffice memos, announcements, and targeted communications. Use group e-mail listservs to deliver important messages. Encourage employees to avoid printing out e-mail messages. Retain e-mail messages requiring electronic retention in accordance with the records retention schedules (see BPPM 90.01 and 90.03).
  • Eliminate fax cover sheets. Most fax machines automatically print identifying information at the top of pages sent. Put identifying information within the content of documents to be sent or use post-it notes to eliminate the need for cover sheets entirely.
  • Request to be taken off fax mailing lists to stop junk fax mail being sent to department offices. The transmission of unsolicited faxed advertisements has been illegal under U.S. federal law since 1991. (47CFR64.1200)
  • Store electronic documents in electronic archives using data compression software.

Recycle All Paper

Departments are to recycle all multipurpose paper, rather than disposing of paper in wastebaskets or dumpsters. The University must pay to dispose of paper as solid waste; however, paper has value as a recycled commodity.

Confidential Material

Any documents containing confidential information must be shredded prior to recycling. See BPPM 90.01, 90.05, 90.06, and 90.07 regarding identification and disposition of confidential materials.

WSU Pullman Locations

WSU Pullman departments may deposit all grades of paper in the recycling collection bins located in all campus buildings or at WSU Recycling (see also BPPM 80.80).

Confidential Materials

University Recycling provides locked bins upon request to gather confidential materials for pickup and shredding. Contact University Recycling for more information.


If additional recycling assistance is needed, contact University Recycling at 509-335-4530.

Non-Pullman Locations

Non-Pullman locations rely on municipal or commercial centers for recycling. Non-Pullman departments are to recycle paper in accordance with local recycling practices.

WSU Spokane

Information regarding recycling at the WSU Spokane campus is available at WSUS Facility Services.

WSU Tri-Cities

Information regarding recycling at the WSU Tri-Cities campus is available at WSUTC Recycling.

WSU Vancouver

Information regarding recycling at the WSU Vancouver campus is available at WSUV Campus Sustainability.

If additional assistance is needed, contact WSUV Facilities Operations; telephone 360-546-9000.

Revisions:  Jan. 2021 (Rev. 560); Feb. 2016 (Rev. 466); Dec. 2009 – new policy (Rev. 351).