Due to the high density of users hosted everyday, public buildings are important producers of waste and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Public restrooms play an underrated role in waste generation and GHG emissions, especially if paper towels are used as the hand-drying method. The choice of the hand-drying method (i.e., paper towels vs. electrical hand dryers) also affects the economic balance of a public institution, involving costs for the purchase of hand-drying materials/apparatuses, energy and waste disposal. The present paper aims at evaluating the economic and environmental impact of the introduction of electrical hand dryers (alternative scenario) in place of paper towels (reference scenario) in a public building. The paper presents a solid methodology, based on a numerical experiment approach, to identify a decision criterion for establishing the economical convenience of adopting the alternative scenario in public restrooms. Key factors affecting the choice between the proposed alternatives are presented and discussed in a dedicated sensitivity analysis. From the environmental point of view, this study evaluates the impact of each scenario in terms of GHG emissions, related to multiple waste treatment options and different electric grid mixes. Based on the experimental assumptions, the method allowed concluding that the alternative scenario becomes economically convenient when the number of daily usages (N) is > 57 ± 4. The environmental convenience of the alternative scenario is visible even at N < 10. The method here described can be successfully used to support strategic decisions for cost optimization and environmental mitigation in institutional buildings.

Environmental and economic sustainability in public contexts: the impact of hand-drying options on waste management, carbon emissions and operating costs / Coller, Graziano; Schiavon, Marco; Ragazzi, Marco. - In: ENVIRONMENT, DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY. - ISSN 1387-585X. - ELETTRONICO. - 2021, 23:8(2021), pp. 11279-11296. [10.1007/s10668-020-01109-x]

Environmental and economic sustainability in public contexts: the impact of hand-drying options on waste management, carbon emissions and operating costs

Coller, Graziano
Primo
;
Schiavon, Marco
Secondo
;
Ragazzi, Marco
Ultimo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Due to the high density of users hosted everyday, public buildings are important producers of waste and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Public restrooms play an underrated role in waste generation and GHG emissions, especially if paper towels are used as the hand-drying method. The choice of the hand-drying method (i.e., paper towels vs. electrical hand dryers) also affects the economic balance of a public institution, involving costs for the purchase of hand-drying materials/apparatuses, energy and waste disposal. The present paper aims at evaluating the economic and environmental impact of the introduction of electrical hand dryers (alternative scenario) in place of paper towels (reference scenario) in a public building. The paper presents a solid methodology, based on a numerical experiment approach, to identify a decision criterion for establishing the economical convenience of adopting the alternative scenario in public restrooms. Key factors affecting the choice between the proposed alternatives are presented and discussed in a dedicated sensitivity analysis. From the environmental point of view, this study evaluates the impact of each scenario in terms of GHG emissions, related to multiple waste treatment options and different electric grid mixes. Based on the experimental assumptions, the method allowed concluding that the alternative scenario becomes economically convenient when the number of daily usages (N) is > 57 ± 4. The environmental convenience of the alternative scenario is visible even at N < 10. The method here described can be successfully used to support strategic decisions for cost optimization and environmental mitigation in institutional buildings.
2021
8
Coller, Graziano; Schiavon, Marco; Ragazzi, Marco
Environmental and economic sustainability in public contexts: the impact of hand-drying options on waste management, carbon emissions and operating costs / Coller, Graziano; Schiavon, Marco; Ragazzi, Marco. - In: ENVIRONMENT, DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY. - ISSN 1387-585X. - ELETTRONICO. - 2021, 23:8(2021), pp. 11279-11296. [10.1007/s10668-020-01109-x]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/287978
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