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Why you have to pick up a calculator to dry your hands in a public washroom
By Germán Muñoz, marketing director, Mediclinics S A
Juan Yuste works as a facilities manager in a large shopping centre in Madrid and as such is responsible for managing all the infrastructures and services of this macro-complex, with the aim of optimising all its resources. In other words, he is responsible for managing the various areas of this large space designed for shopping and leisure in order to adapt them to the needs of the commercial hub's workers and customers, by solving technical problems, optimising resources and making improvements.
Among many other responsibilities, his job involves:
- Budgetary management of the infrastructure and spaces of the shopping centre to reach maximum profitability and minimise operating costs.
- Optimising the energy resources of the centre by proposing the most effective and efficient solutions.
- Improving environmental performance and sustainability within the framework of the leisure-commercial space's Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
Recently in one of the more than 30 public bathrooms in the shopping centre, Juan washed his hands and when he turned to dry them, he noticed that the toilet had both electric hand dryers and paper towel dispensers.
"Which should I choose to dry my hands?" he asked himself. "Which is the most economical method?"
It was at this moment that he started to remember the pros and cons of each hand drying method and remembered, for example, that paper towels are made from recycled paper and do not need electricity, especially now the price of energy is through the roof. "Well, great, you're saved," he thought. But as he dried his hands with a paper towel, he realised something that made him suddenly stop: the paper, apart from its own cost, involves purchasing, replacement and waste management logistics that hand dryers do not have. So, what's the bottom line? Which option is the most economical? Which one will save us more money at the end of the year?
Having access to the cost information, Juan immediately carried out a simple comparative exercise. He took as an example for his calculations one of the busiest washrooms in the shopping centre. In this facility, the hand dryers are used 1,000 times every day. Based on this daily hand dryer usage, Juan carried out two cost calculations:
a) the cost of using paper only, and
b) the cost of using a hand dryer only.
The following information is available to him:
a) Cost of using paper towels only:
- Average number of paper towels used each time someone dries their hands = three
- Number of towels used each day = 3,000
- Number of towels used per month (six-day weeks and four weeks/month) = 72,000
- Price of 4000 towels = 20.04
- Cost of hand drying with paper = €0.015
- Monthly cost of hand drying = €360/month
b) Cost of using hand dryer only:
- Maximum power of Machflow hand dryer from Mediclinics, S.A. with heating element in 'ON' mode = 1500 W
- Drying time = 8 seconds
- Maximum electrical power price = €0.45765 per KWh
- Monthly cost of hand drying with hand dryer = €36.27/month
This simple calculation can be done using the Mediclinics Web calculator, which is available at www.mediclinics.com
The numbers make it clear that hand drying with a new generation electric hand dryer can be much more cost-effective than using paper (€36.27/month with an electric hand dryer compared to €360/month for paper). It is also worth noting that the investment for the purchase of the hand dryer is quickly amortised: in less than a month.
Juan Yuste, after this small cost calculation, realised that new generation hand dryers can be much more economical than using paper to dry hands.
Mediclinics S.A. is a family run company, of fully Spanish capital, which over 45-plus years has established itself as one of the leading companies in the design, manufacturing and marketing of hand dryers and away from home bathroom accessories.
23rd June 2022