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More than 1,000 hand dryers will be installed in restrooms of academic buildings across campus in an effort to eliminate paper towel usage.

The project begins this week and is 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 remain in break rooms, kitchens and labs.

Installation will start with the highest-use academic buildings and continue in order of paper towel usage. The project will start in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, McClung Tower, Student Services Building, and Communications Building. A full list of campus buildings in the order of installation can be found here.

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

This project aims to reduce waste and paper towels make up more of campus waste than any other single item. Hand dryers will also result in less labor to clean and maintain restrooms, reduce transportation for deliveries of paper towels, save 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,” said UT Recycling Manager Jay Price. “This will help campus get a lot closer to zero waste.”

For more information about this project or its schedule please contact Bryan Lord, construction supervisor at blord2@utk.edu.