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- Tricks To Cut Down On Paper Towel Consumption
Reduce Waste With Roll Towel Dispensers
- Work With Distributors, Customers To Save On Paper Towels
Facilities that use baskets instead of towel dispensers are at greatest risk for excessive waste. Also problematic is when dispensers lack capacity to meet demand. In these situations, towels may be left stacked on countertops, making it easy for tenants to grab far more than needed.
“People also drip their hands on the stack of towels and the next person doesn’t want to touch the wet mess so they throw a bunch away,” says Olon Hyde, director of operations for Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, Palm Harbor, Florida. “You also have the problem of people walking off with the towels and tissue.”
Even when larger dispensers are present, however, there’s opportunity for overuse. C-fold and multifold towel dispensers are notorious for allowing extra sheets to fall out when a user tries to grab just one.
“One of the rules of thumb that’s often thrown around is if you switch from C-fold or multifold towels to rolled towels you’ll save 20 to 30 percent on your costs,” says Mark Petruzzi, senior vice president of outreach and strategic relations for Green Seal, Washington, D.C.
The reason for the cost savings goes beyond preventing towels from dropping (or from users sticking their hands inside the case to grab extra towels). Motion-activated, touchless dispensers offer more control thanks to automation and metering systems.
BSCs can program the machines to dispense a particular towel length, and they can set a predetermined delay between towels.
“People are impatient,” says Hyde. “If they have to wait 10 or 15 seconds for another section of towel to dispense, they get frustrated and walk out. That helps with consumption.”
As a bonus, “automatic dispensing helps with perceived quality of the restroom,” says Mandelstam. “Most people think of touchless dispensers as being higher-quality.”
Because the dispensers are seen as an upgrade, it may be easier to persuade customers to switch out existing fixtures even if it requires paying for new ones or signing a lease with a vendor for “free” proprietary dispensers.
Adapt Current Dispensers
Replacing existing dispensers isn’t always a viable option, particularly for very large clients with many buildings. In these cases, there’s an alternative for taming multifold towels.
“If you’re stuck with multifold towels, how do you make them as efficient as possible? The dispensing seems to be the single biggest opportunity for reduction,” says Petruzzi.
Manufacturers now offer steel and plastic inserts for multifold dispensers that channel the towels so only one can come out at a time. The inserts also blocks patrons from sticking their hands up into the machine to grab a handful.
“It makes the dispenser more efficient so the towels last as long as they should,” says Petruzzi.
Another newer tool is a narrowing device that makes the same dispensers smaller on the inside. In this case, they are filled not with regular multifold towels but instead with a special mini-fold towel. The smaller towels come 8,000 to a case rather than the typical 4,000 for multifold.
“Most people use between two and four towels, regardless of what type of towel it is,” says Petruzzi. “If people are grabbing three anyway, now they’re taking three smaller ones to reduce the volume of toweling consumed. It’s not about changing human behavior but changing the impact of that behavior.”
Tricks To Cut Down On Paper Towel Consumption
Work With Distributors, Customers To Save On Paper Towels
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