I discovered some statistics about my government center that were intriguing. We have 900 paper towel dispensers across our center with a population of 74% engineers. We purchase about 15,000 rolls each year costing the government easily over $100,000 per year.
The Dyson Airblade claims to be the fastest hand dryer that is hygienic, with a sticker price of $1,119 for each system. I propose that if the government replaced paper towel dispensers with jet towel hand dryers it would save millions of dollars in the long-run. It’s a simple replacement that requires some up-front investment but will save the government money in the future and the trees will thank you too!
Analysis: Assuming that only non-engineering employees have their bathrooms updated, 234 paper towel dispensers would be replaced with Dyson Airblades. Based on numbers posted on the company’s webpage, it would cost $1,708 a year in operating costs, with an up-front expenditure of $280,566. We would save $29,250 by alleviating the need for paper towels. Without doing a discounted cash flow analysis, this center alone would start saving money in the 12th year after the transition.
My center represents 0.17% of the civil servant population. By simple extrapolation, there are over 530,000 paper towel dispensers being used across the government. Some ‘back of the napkin math’ suggests if 2% of all paper towel dispensers across the government were changed, over a million dollars in one year could be saved by not purchasing paper towels. (Note: I, of course, am not a representative of Dyson. I’ve also noticed that Mitsubishi and Spacelink Corporation both offer similar designs via the GSA website.)
Twelve years could seem like a discouraging time frame, but the story could be more attractive if there is a bulk discount provided by Dyson. Also, if every center were to replace its paper towel dispensers with this more advanced, efficient technology, the savings could easily reach millions of dollars!