Facing Low Paper Products, Trenton Accepts Offer of Hand Dryers

There's not a square to spare as the mayor and council fight over a contract

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It sounds hard to believe, but toilet paper is at the center of a budget debate in Trenton. Unless city leaders come up with funds fast, government buildings could shutdown. Katy Tur reports.

    Facing a dwindling paper towel supply, the city of Trenton appears to have lucked out with a company's offer of donated automatic hand dryers.

    Paper products, including toilet paper, have been running low as Mayor Tony Mack's administration and the City Council quarreled over a contract to resupply city government in New Jersey's capital.

    Council President Kathy McBride told The Times of Trenton paper towel and toilet paper dispensers in senior citizen centers, police headquarters, the fire department and other city offices likely wouldn't last through the week.

    "I’m embarrassed,” McBride told the paper.  “I’m a little disgusted, and I feel we’re doing an injustice to the residents of the city and the employees.”

    But a company most known for its vacuums stepped in Tuesday with an offer for the city of Trenton: a donation of 15 Dyson Airblade hand dryers.

    Mack announced Tuesday evening he was accepting the company's offer, expected to save the city nearly $45,000 on paper towels annually.

    “Dyson’s donation of 15 Airblade hand dryers will help the city of Trenton realize significant cost savings and cut paper towel waste," Mack said in a statement.

    The Airblade dries 22 pairs of hands for the cost of a single paper towel, according to the statement. The hand dryer creates 400 sheets of air to dry hands in 12 seconds, scraping water off hands rather than evaporating it with a heating element.

    Trenton's City Council had twice rejected a $42,000 contract for a year's supply of paper products because members raised concerns about a high unit price for hot drink cups.

    Mack's administration removed the cups from the contract and sent it back to the council.