Significant quantities of waste paper are generated by rest room activities. It is common for hand towel paper to be overused and wasted. The waste paper collected from rest rooms is typically discarded as non-recycled trash.
By implementing the use of hot air hand dryers, waste paper generation is reduced, and paper towl purchase costs are eliminated, often saving hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
- Owners and operators of establishments with public or employee rest rooms should install hot air hand dryers as an alternative to C-fold towels or paper roll dispensers.
- If hot air dryers are not feasible, roll paper towels should be used in place of C-fold towels.
Life-span cost comparisons have been researched for three types of hand drying options – C-folded paper towels, roll paper towels, and hot air dryers. An overview of cost assumptions, annual cost comparisons, and waste generation rates are below.
Local maintenance supply warehouses, equipment vendors, or installation contractors can provide information on the necessary electric and installation requirements for hot air dryer equipment.
In the example below, annual cost savings per dispenser of $ 72 and $ 195 respectively were estimated for using hot air dryers in place of roll and C-fold paper towels. A similar facility having 6 restrooms with 2 C-fold dispensers in each restroom could save approximately $ 2,340 per year by switching to hot air cryers. The actual savings determined for your facility will vary based on the volume of use, and costs for paper towels, electricity, etc. Cost savings related to reduced collection and disposal of waste paper have not been included, but should be done on a facility-specific basis.
On average, hot air dryers take longer to dry a person’s hands than paper towels (30 sec vs. 5-10 sec). For this reason, hand dryers are sometimes not well accepted by rest room users. In addition, more hot air dryers may be required to handle peak rest room use periods. A careful evaluation of costs and benefits is required.
|Waste Generation Type||C-Folded||Roll Paper||Hot Air|
|Pounds of Waste Paper per Year per Dispenser||502||235||0|
(NOTE: actual costs at your facility will vary.)
|Assumption/Calculation||C-Folded||Roll Paper||Hot Air|
|1. Dispenser Purchase Cost||$ 20||$ 70.00||$ 209.50|
|2. Number of Years of Service per Dispenser||3||5||3|
|3. Number of Hours to Install a Dispenser||N/A||N/A||3.125|
|4. Installation Labor Cost per Hour||N/A||N/A||$ 15.00|
|5. Annual Maintenance Cost (Labor for replacements)||$ 0.00||$ 0.00||$ 10.48|
|6. Number of Towels per Hand-Dry||2.5||4||N/A|
|7. Number of Towels per Case||4,000||16,800||N/A|
|8. Number of Hand-Dries per Case||1,600||4,200||N/A|
|9. No. Hand-Dries / Year (100/day/dispenser assumed)||36,500||36,500||36,500|
|10. Number of Cases Required per Year||22.81||8.69||0|
|11. Cost per Case of Paper Towels||$ 12.94||$ 19.00||N/A|
|12. Pounds per Case of Paper Towels||22||27||N/A|
|13. Wattage of Hot Air Dryer||N/A||N/A||500|
|14. Hours Required per Hand-Dry||N/A||N/A||.0083 (30 sec)|
|15. Kilowatts of Electricity Used||N/A||N/A||152|
|16. Cost per Kilowatt-Hour||N/A||N/A||$ 0.07|
|Cost Category||C-Folded||Roll Paper||Hot Air|
|Dispenser Procurement Cost per Year||$ 6.67||$ 14.00||$ 69.83|
|Dispenser Installation Cost per Year||$ 0.00||$ 0.00||$ 15.63|
|Subtotal: Avg. Annual Dispenser Cost||$ 6.67||$ 14.00||$ 85.46|
|Avg. Annual Dispenser Maintenance Cost||$ 0.00||$ 0.00||$ 10.48|
|Avg. Annual Towel Procurement Cost (Labor for replacements)||$ 295.19||$ 165.11||$ 0.00|
|Avg. Annual Electricity Cost||$ 0.00||$ 0.00||$ 10.64|
|Total of Avg. Annual Costs per Dispenser||$ 301.86||$ 179.11||$ 106.60|
Source: New York City, Department of Sanitation, Electric Hand Dryer Life Cycle Analysis, 1996
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