Policy Memo- Paper Towels or Hand Dryers?

MEMORANDAM

TO: Edward A. Kania

FROM: Kate Meeks

SUBJECT: Determining the overall most efficient hand drying method at Davidson College.

DATE: 4/11/2016

 

NEED FOR:

The everyday use of paper towel dispensers at Davidson College is a problem. Not only is the paper that is used in paper towel dispensers not cost effective, but the excessive use is a hazard to the environment, requires constant transportation from the provider to the site, and continued upkeep and replacement in bathrooms all over campus. There are 272 paper towel dispensers around campus that are battery run and therefore must be constantly monitored for replacement needs. Davidson College needs a more cost-effective and energy friendly method to dry hands: one that addresses all of Davidson’s financial, environmental and health needs. XLERATOR hand dryers could be the solution.

PROPOSED SOLUTUIONS:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Use 100% recycled paper in paper towel dispensers
  3. Buy and install XLERATOR hand dryers that replace paper towels and dispensers
  4. Buy and install Dyson Airblade hand dyers that replace paper towels and dispensers

 

SOLUTION ANALYSIS:

Do Nothing

There are 1950 students and 387 faculty and staff employed at Davidson College. The paper towel supplier is Georgia Pacific enMotion paper towels, and purchased from US Foods.2 There are 272 paper towel dispensers on campus, and each paper towel roll is 800 feet, or 9,600 inches of paper. An estimated on average use of paper towels per day is eight times for students and four for faculty and staff. There are 185 days that students are required to be at school per year. We can assume on average that one trash bag a day is used per paper towel dispenser. Georgia Pacific enMotion paper towel dispensers use 4 D alkaline batteries per machine.

  • Paper towels are $3.90 per roll2
  • Approximately 240,072 inches of paper are used per day, or 25 rolls of paper collectively.
  • There are 4,625 paper towel rolls used per year
  • The cost of paper per year would be $18,037
  • Trash bags cost $1,915 yearly
  • $1,542 for D alkaline batteries for every 15 hours of use per year7
  • The cost of transportation from provider to school, constant refilling, upkeep and waste disposal provide additional fees

Total Economic Cost over 5 years not including transportation, or labor: $107,470

Use 100% Recycled Paper in Dispensers

  • The same amount of paper and D alkaline batteries used as regular paper towel dispensers
  • Paper would be $1.36 more expensive per roll, or yearly Davidson would spend $24,327 on paper
  • Recycled paper would protect old growth forests6
  • Manufactured recycled paper uses only 60% of the energy from fresh wood6
  • Recycled paper uses more purchased energy from fossil fuels in the production stage6
  • Recycled paper reduces the amount of waste in landfills and by association decreases methane production6
  • Less pollution than virgin paper and produces less solid waste6

Total Economic Cost over 5 years not including transportation or labor: $138,920

Buy and Install XLERATOR hand dryers that replace paper towels and dispensers

  • Cost $337 per unit so initial cost would be $91,6644
  • Approximately 15 second dry time4
  • They can last possibly ten years, with at a 5 year warranty5
  • There are 1500 wattage, or 76 kilojoules of energy, as well as 21kg of CO2 emitted per use4
  • There is no required upkeep or physical waste produced4
  • No landfill space used6
  • The installation cost is around $125-$200 per unit1
  • The energy use cost per year $1, 5865

Total Economic Cost over 5 years including installation fees: $133,594- $153,994

Buy and Install Dyson Airblade hand dryers that replace paper towels and dispensers

  • Costs $750 per unit so initial cost would be $204, 000.
  • Approximately 12-14 second drying time4
  • Can last possibly 10 years, 5 year limited warranty7
  • 5 grams of CO2 per dry7
  • No required upkeep or physical waste produced6
  • The air used is filtered and food safe7
  • No landfill space is used6
  • Installation costs around $170- $200 per unit2
  • Energy use cost per year $857.117

Total Economic Cost over 5 years including installation fees: $254,525.55- $262,685.55

RECCOMENDATION:

While virgin paper towels are the most cost effective upfront they require constant upkeep and labor, not to mention transportation in and out campus and their negative environmental impact (labor and transportation costs not included). This reduces administrative feasibility and decreases the effectiveness of the hand drying system. Recycled paper towels would provide slightly better environmental scores, but over time their costs would also continue like virgin paper towels. Therefore, I would recommend the XLERATOR hand dryers due to their smaller environmental impact, more reasonable price, and lack of upkeep or waste removal. XLERATOR hand dryers are also more hygienic4 and will last for years.

 

Options Effectiveness Administrative Feasibility Social Cost and Benefits Environmental Cost and Benefits Economic cost and benefits option Score
Do Nothing-regular paper towels  

2

 

1

 

2

 

1

 

2

 

1.6

Recycled paper towels

 

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

2

XLERATOR hand dryer

 

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

3

 

2

 

2.2

Dyson airblade hand dryer

 

 

3

 

2

 

2

 

3

 

1

 

2.2

Criteria Weight  

.25

 

 

.125

 

.125

 

.25

 

.25

 

1.00

 

Bibliography

  1. “Calculate YOUR Facilities Savings Vs. Paper Towels.” Calculate How Much You Can Save With Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels. http://www.exceldryer.com/calculator.php (April 10, 2016).
  2. Cabiyo, Bodie, Jordan Murphy, and Mike Gore. 2011. “Slicing Carbon Emissions With The Dyson Airblade.” 2011 Winter Organics Recycling Enhancement Report. https://www.wwu.edu/sustain/academics/csps/files/2011winter_organics recycling enhancement report.pdf (April 10, 2016).
  3. “Davidson Fact File 2014-15.”DAVIDSON (n.d.): 22-24. Davidson College. Web.
  4. “HAND DRYER DISTRIBUTOR.”Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towel & Energy Costs. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
  5. “Post-Tenure Review: An AAUP Response.”Academe 5 (1998): 61-67. Web.
  6. “Q & A.”Art Education 8 (1979): n. pag. Environmental Defense and the Alliance for Environmental Innovation. Web.
  7. “Students Examine Environmental Impact of Bathroom Behavior.”Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels. N.p., 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
  8. “Which Alkaline Battery Last The Longest?” Alkaline Battery Test. http://batterysavers.com/which-alkaline-battery-last-the-longest/ (April 10, 2016).

 

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