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Paper towels and clogged toilets

Posted on 5/7/2013 in Hygienic Hand Dryers

The paper towel industry frequently tries to scare customers into believing that hand dryers are not hygienic.  Most of the arguments are not supported by any science.  But here's a hygiene issue that I don't need a massive study to discuss...clogged toilets.  In 2010, the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Hospital made news when it was reported that the toilet water  that was leaking into surgical rooms was due to patients flushing paper towels causing clogs.  One hospital that I have worked with called these overflowing toilets "Code Brown."  In health care areas where limiting bacteria is a big deal, clogged toilets are a big deal.

At a factory I once worked with, most of the workers were immigrants from countries that didn't traditionally have toilet paper.  The workers brought paper towels into the stalls with them out of a habit that was apparently hard to break.  Hand dryers made a huge difference to the weekly toilet clogging.

Clogged toilets caused by paper towels are big deal for nearly every facility manager I've ever worked with.  A call to a plumber to help unclog the plumbing because knuckleheads like to flush paper towels are easily a few hundred dollars each time.  When we do cost analyses for clients to discuss the savings that can be garnered by strategically using hand dryers to reduce paper towel usage, we can't really quantify this cost, but every client nods their heads and knows about the clogged toilet headache.

More and more organizations are looking to reduce paper towel usage to achieve goals related to cost and sustainability.  Hand dryers can either replace paper towels or, when used strategically, substantially reduce their usage.  Reducing clogged toilets is another benefit.  Call us at 888-629-0685 for more information on how NetDryers can help give you a free cost/carbon analysis and create a strategy that is right for your organization.