Replace Paper Towel Dispensers with Electric Dryers in PSD202 Schools

Replace Paper Towel Dispensers with Electric Dryers in PSD202 Schools

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James Vu started this petition to Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 and

Bathroom facilities across the district are cluttered with paper towels by the end of each school day. Students often leave them on the floor or in the sinks for the janitorial staff to clean up, but those who do take care of their waste leave behind garbage cans overflowing with used paper. This disposable paper, along with all the trash left for the custodians, ends up in landfills. In order to lessen the impact the district has on the environment while saving funds and reducing the burden that disrespectful students create for the custodial staff, schools should replace their paper towel dispensers with electric-powered air dryers.

In an average high school alone, one can estimate that a school bathroom is used about 2000 times, which is a little less than one visit per person per day. If we assume that each visit also uses about 1 foot of paper per visit, then the daily cost of just one school day in one high school is $15 dollars in paper towels (this was calculated using the districts enrollment data, list of wholesale vendors for supplies in the public budget outline, and minimum size and cost of paper towels comparable to the ones used in Red House Schools). This value is also an underrepresentation of the real costs, as it did not account for the other, more inconsistent uses of paper towels in the school. $15 a day seems like a small margin, but over an entire school year these costs can add up to over $10,000 just for the four high schools in the district. These costs also do not account for the impact of paper towels on the janitorial staff, which impedes the cleaning of each bathroom and requires additional attention, as each garbage can needs to be emptied daily. The waste produced by the paper towels also negatively impacts the environment by adding additional refuse to already overflowing land fills and using plastic liners that do not break down easily.

The solution to all three of these issues is the implementation of a new way to dry our hands: electric air dryers. Though these dryers would have high initial costs, maintenance would be relatively simple, and costs would continue to fall the more the dryers are used. High efficiency dryers could be purchased that use less electricity, reducing both the financial cost on the district and the environmental cost on the world. Less waste would be produced, benefiting the landfills and making the jobs of the custodians much easier. A high strength dryer capable of drying hands in 15 seconds, while still being eco-friendly, would cost anywhere from $400 to $600 dollars. These dryers can be installed in sets of three in a bathroom within the same circuit, consuming less than 20 Amps combined (the average current flow in public buildings like schools in a single circuit). A high school would require close to 100 dryers to prevent traffic buildup in bathrooms, which would cost $40,000 to $60,000 to implement. This would not necessarily be a one-time investment due to maintenance, but the additional costs in the years to come would be extremely limited compared to the repeated purchase of towels. The benefits of this change could be seen in the district’s budget, the care of the bathrooms, and the reduction of waste produced in our schools.

Help support the reduction of waste, custodial burdens, and district spending due to the use of paper towels by signing this petition to replace paper towel dispensers in PSD202 schools with energy-efficient air dryers!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!