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Hand Dryer Installation

Summary: In May of 2018, the decision was made to use a portion of the rollover money from the Facilities Services FY 18 operating budget to remove the majority of campus paper towel dispensers and replace them with hand dryers in high traffic areas. High traffic areas were prioritized by UT Recycling and the total cost of the project was estimated to be $570,000 to install 1,034 hand dryers. Unforeseen expenses occurred, such as additional wall repair and the inclusion of hands free door openers to address the concern of not having paper towels to open door handles. These unforeseen expenses have brought the average cost per hand dryer install from $551 per unit to $630 per unit.

Who: Jay Price; Recycling Manager

Background: Building Services within Operations, a unit within Facilities Services, has observed an increase in both cost and labor hours to service bathrooms pertaining to paper towel use over the past few years. In FY 16, the Office of Sustainability conducted a Hand Dryer feasibility study to provide insight into whether Building Services should switch from paper towel use to hand dryers in high traffic areas. The results of the study showed both a cost savings and workflow efficiency improvement opportunities for Building Services, with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions resulting from reduced transportation of paper towels to campus and then to individual buildings. The combined installation and purchasing costs for the 12 hand dryers within the feasibility study resulted in an average cost per unit of $550.

Why is this needed?: There are many benefits to having hand dryers in high traffic bathrooms across campus. One of the benefits is cost reduction related to materials such as liners, paper towels, fuel and vehicle maintenance cost to move supplies and labor hours spent moving, stocking and cleaning paper towel dispensers. There are also many non-cost related benefits. Facilities Services now has a reduction in time servicing bathrooms, which allows them to focus on other important daily activities. GHG emissions have also have been reduced, as trucks delivering paper towels are no longer contributing carbon to our campus. Lastly, the reduction of paper towels going into the compost program allows for other sources of compost from other areas of campus, at a time in which the composting program is close to capacity.

Green Fee Notes: Approved without any changes.