Independent Printing focuses on instituting environmentally efficient manufacturing processes whenever possible.
Our current presses utilize CIP4 technology, which sends prepress ink settings to each individual printing station at press. CIP4 reduces the amount of make-ready time, and keeps paper usage to an absolute minimum. We have dramatically reduced the number of sheets used in each make-ready by 200 sheets, on average. This saves over 600,000 sheets per year.
An automated ink system reduces our ink consumption by 15-20%. Now we use airtight containers which eliminate all dried ink from our containers – no more wasting dried ink from the top of traditional cans. In addition, the system keeps a minimum level of ink in the fountain, reducing the amount which may need to be disposed of at the end of each run.
The installation of our newest 40” press has resulted in the reduction of blanket wash use from 75 gallons/week to 15 gallons/week. This will serve to dramatically lower our VOC emissions into the future.
We instituted the use of alcohol-free wetting agents in our fountain solutions long before it was mandated. Today, we base our fountain solution purchasing decisions on environmental impact and compliance.
Laboratory evaluation of Independent’s waste inks indicates that it is a non-hazardous waste and is, therefore, non-regulated. Although we could send the waste ink to a land fill, Independent chooses to dispose of it in a more environmentally-responsible manner by contracting with a local disposal service. The waste ink is fuel-blended and the ashes from the fuel blending process are used as a component in cement.
Press solvents/blanket wash
Independent has installed a solvent recycling system that distills used solvent, purifying it for reuse. This has reduced the amount of virgin solvent we purchase and has also eliminated waste solvent being shipped off-site. The solid ink remnants are shipped off-site through our disposal service. This waste is fuel-blended.
Independent contracts with a licensed service for solvent rag washing. Rags are picked up on a weekly basis, washed, and returned. The service has a wastewater treatment plant that treats the water from washing prior to going into the sewer system.
Silver residue has virtually been eliminated as we no longer expose and process film. We have eliminated our camera and image setter which were the major sources of silver.
Aluminum and Film
Aluminum plates and exposed film from historical files are picked up and recycled on a regular basis. During 2017, we recycled over 22.3 tons of aluminum plates.
Waste paper is recycled through a company that uses the paper in the manufacture of a variety of products, including paper toweling and tissue. During 2017, Independent recycled 1939 tons of paper.