By now you’ve probably noticed the new soap and paper towel dispensers on campus. What’s the deal?! Weren’t most of those pretty new? Yes, but LSC’s super-savvy maintenance supervisor saw an opportunity to save money, so he took it…
How could he possibly save money on all new dispensers, you ask? Simple, Mark did a life cycle assessment on a suite of new products (check out the LSC Sustainability policies). Here are the new product high points:
The Sustainability Council doesn’t like battery operated paper towels, and the Biology labs have better things to do than wave at those paper towel dispensers when there are really messy jobs to clean up. The earlier compromise was bi- or tri-fold paper towels for some users, but rolls for most public areas. Mark took a look at the invoices and noticed we were paying A LOT more for those fancy bi-folds (ahem, Biology?!). He struck a deal with the users, and found a vendor that would replace ALL of our paper towel dispensers (for free) and give us a lower contract price for battery-free pull-down paper towel rolls. Consistency across campus saves ordering and inventory time, manual dispensers are easier to fill so our “picky customers” can do it themselves, and dead batteries no longer require a maintenance request. Also, did you know those things required 4 size D batteries to operate, EACH? In heavy use areas, those batteries were replaced monthly! We were literally throwing money in the trash! So, we threw all of the old dispensers away, right? Wrong! The old vendor took them back, a REUSE win!
So what’s up with the soap and sanitizer? You may not have even known there were sanitizer dispensers in the restrooms, because they looked exactly like the soap dispensers. What?! You needed a secret decoder ring to figure out what came from where…another maintenance headache! The new dispensers look completely different, and are consistent across campus. Heavy users can manage their own product, so maintenance can focus on more important things. What’s more, if you’ve ever had the privilege of changing one of those old soap containers, you would have noticed the little bit of product left at the bottom of the rigid plastic container. You couldn’t get it out, no matter how hard you shook it! Again, throwing money in the trash. The plastic packaging was bulky, and who knows what was in that soap. The new product is biodegradable, dye free, and certified GreenSeal™. The soft packaging is a BPA free collapsible (less overall waste volume) SmartSac™ which contain 60% less plastic than the old rigid containers, and the packing is recyclable and biodegradable.
Lastly, not only are YOU using a better product, our maintenance team is using a similar suite of GreenSeal™ products for all of their routine cleaning. Their new dilution and dispensing system means there’s less single-use packing and no more aerosol cans, we aren’t paying to have watered-down products shipped to us, a less caustic product with safe handling systems means healthier working conditions for our maintenance team (and all of us), less overall product means a simpler safety tracking system, and we’re saving money! Whew! Are you keeping tracking track of all these wins?!
Thanks Mark, thanks maintenance team (change is hard), and as cold and flu season sets in, use those soap and sanitizer stations often!