Richmond saving $100,000 as staffers use less paper

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Richmond is saving $100,000 per year in office supplies because city employees are using less paper, according to Ofelia Alvarez, a buyer for the city.

Last week, the Finance Standing Committee recommended the approval of Richmond’s contract with two office supplies vendors at a cost to taxpayers of $350,000 per year for potentially three years. That sum is $100,000 less per year than the previous contract, Alvarez said.

“We are using less paper, less toner, less folders,” Alvarez said. “We’re using less office supplies.”

The proposed contract would keep Staples as a vendor, partly because there is a Staples store near City Hall. Employees who want to make last-minute purchases at that store can benefit from the contract price rather than the retail price, Alvarez said.

The city uses a second vendor for competitive pricing, and the vendor proposed by city staff is new to the city – literally. The Office City, which distributes for American Office Products, relocated to Richmond’s Hilltop neighborhood in January.

Councilmembers applauded the city’s efforts to bring down the cost of office supplies.

“I appreciate both your economic and environmental reasons about the reduction in the use of paper,” Councilman Jim Rogers said.

The proposed contract will have to be approved by the full City Council before it is set in stone.