(Nearly) getting rid of paper towels on campus

Paper towels are an incredible waste of money for the college.  Not to say I don't like to use them for speed and convenience--but drying off our hands with expensive dead trees is not the best thing we could be paying for right now.

Several years ago the college made a deal with a paper towel manufacturer to give us free dispensers if we buy paper from them for at least a few years.  We are out of that commitment now but continue to pay the high price for paper.  Lane Community College’s Sustainability Office did some research a few years ago to justify replacing all the paper towel dispensers with new high speed-low energy hand dryers.  They estimated they could save 90% of their costs for paper (17%), labor (75%), and disposal (8%) when compared to purchasing high speed dryers over 5 years of use!  http://www.mitsubishijettowel.com/

The best part for us is that we already have electric hand dryers in most bathrooms so we could take away the paper dispensers immediately and stop buying more.  We might only need a few electric hand dryers in critical areas such as food service or labs where required but largely eliminated them and phase out the old duyers over time for the new high speed-low energy models available today.

Based on Lane’s estimate for savings per student we could save $35,000 per year by getting rid of most paper towel use on campus.  More research is needed to get a more accurate estimate.

Potential Annual Savings: $35,000



Need a NetID?

Students: Set one up now!

Employees: See your supervisor.