How a school can save money and reduce their carbon footprint

This post was last updated Friday 7th December 2018

In this post you will see how a school can save £1000’s switching from paper towels to energy efficient hand dryers. In the example below it will show you that a typical school can save over £5500 switching.

Just think where that money could go in a school budget?

There's a calculator for you to see how much money and carbon your particular school could be saving.

This post and video will also remind you of the issues paper towels bring to a school such as:

  • Blocked drains
  • Overflowing waste bins
  • Always having to replenish so wasting staff time
  • Problems arising from empty paper towel dispensers.
In the infographic below it uses the example of a school with 400 pupils and 40 staff.  On average staff will visit the toilet 4.5 times a day and students 3.5 times.  It costs around 0.6p per paper towel and we work on the assumption that people will take 3 paper towels per dry.  This is however a very conservative estimate as usually more get used as they stick together when taking them from the dispenser.

For a school of this size, 948,000 paper towels will be used each year! This will cost a school £5688 a year.  A hell of a chunk of a school budget.

In comparison an energy efficeient hand dryer like the Dryflow G-Force MKII, which has adjustable settings for increased energy efficiency, would cost between £101.75 and £139.04 for the whole year.

A massive saving of £5548 and £5586 a year!

Worked Example

Find out how much your school could save!

  • This calculator uses the very energy efficient and high speed Turboforce Junior PLUS hand dryer to show comparisons.
  • The calculations shown are with the hand dryer at its highest rated power to give minimum savings. An intelligent heating system makes sure the savings will increase further.

Use this calculator to see how much money and carbon you could save switching from either conventional hand dryers, paper towels or roller towels to energy efficient hand dryers.

You will get:

- Annual Saving vs. Current Solution
- CO2 Saving Vs. Current Solution
- Yearly Running Cost
- Payback Period (ROI)
- Annual number of trees saved if using paper towels

Based on Dysons research into the carbon emissions of paper towel manufacture it is calculated that each dry of the hands with 3 paper towels has created 22.5g CO2. This production is from:

  • Chopping down trees
  • Transporation of raw materials for processing
  • The energy used to process
  • Further transportation to finishing mills
  • Energy used to manufacture the paper product and packaging
  • Further transportation to the main warehouse
  • Distribution to local warehouses
  • Delivery to the customer

And all the above is on a constant replenishing cycle

Also paper towels can not be recycled, they can only be made from recycled paper.  So the contaminated waste usually ends up in land fill.  It’s decomposition produces methane gas which is more potent and dangerous than carbon dioxide! See more by clicking here

As you will see from the infographic above, the estimated saving of carbon dioxide from switching is around 6483 and 6652 Kg/CO2.

Paper towels also bring about a number of issues away from cost and environment which hand dryers solve.

  • The need to constantly replenish and check to status of the dispensers, which is very time consuming.
  • If the dispensers are not replenished, the toilet roll gets used which means there is soon no toilet roll! A big problem.
  • Frequently when schools contact us to buy hand dryers it is because the toilets are constantly getting blocked with paper towels that refuse to break down in the u-bend. Blockages can be very costly, unhygienic and unpleasant.
  • The physical mess of overflowing waste bins and paper towels in the sinks and on the floor. This is a common problem is schools that still use paper towels instead of hand dryers.
  • Storage. Someone has to make sure there is enough stock of paper towels and that they are stored securely, another extra hassle.

In the video above you will have heard the Custodian from the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from Cambridge university talking about why he prefers hand dryers over paper towels due to the issues they cause.

So hopefully you will have seen how switching can be very beneficial to a school for a number of reasons


For more information, please call us UK offices: North: 0114 3540047 South: 0203 3270448; Eire office: +353 19036387, use our contact us page by clicking here



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