ayresUTK University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee Knoxville

More than 1,000 hand dryers will replace paper towels in University of Tennessee Knoxville restrooms

Officials say paper towel account for more waste than any other single item.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville says it is installing more than 1,000 hand dryers in restrooms of academic buildings across campus in an effort to eliminate paper towel usage.

Installations began this week and are slated for completion before classes resume in the fall. A total of 1,034 hand dryers will be installed.

Hand dryers in restrooms will be the new campus standard for buildings moving forward. Paper towels will continue to be used in break rooms, kitchens and labs.

Installation will start with the highest-use academic buildings and continue in order of paper towel usage, the university says. The project will start in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, McClung Tower, Student Services Building, and Communications Building.

Once hand dryers are installed and functional in restrooms, the paper towel dispensers will be removed.

The university says the hand dryers will help reduce waste; paper towels make up more of campus waste than any other single item. Hand dryers also will reduce the amount of labor required to clean and maintain restrooms, reduce transportation for deliveries of paper towels, save trash can liners, which are the most costly custodial supply item on campus, and prevent litter and overflowing trash cans in restrooms.

“We are excited about this opportunity to save material, labor, and disposal costs and keep campus cleaner and greener,” says Recycling Manager Jay Price. “This will help campus get a lot closer to zero waste.”

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