Physical Plant: Cost is a challenge for 2-ply implementation

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    The fate of TCU’s toilet paper quality is still to be determined as Physical Plant staff search for a way to accommodate the switch.

    resolution passed by the Student Government Association earlier this semester proposed that the university change from 1-ply to 2-ply toilet paper. 

    Todd Waldvogel, associate vice chancellor for facilities, said cost and the size of toilet paper dispensers installed in campus buildings remain a challenge. 

    While the diameter of the 1-ply roll fits the design of all dispensers, finding a 2-ply style to work just as well may be more of an issue, Waldvogel said. 

    “It’s to be determined if we can get a 2-ply roll that fits nicely in there,” he said. “The current manufacturers did not have one available, so we’re looking at different manufacturers.” 

    Student Body President Cody Westphal, who helped introduce the resolution adopted by SGA, also confirmed Physical Plant’s progress in resolving the issue. 

    TCU is on track to spend about $45,000 on 1-ply toilet paper for this fiscal year, Waldvogel said. The same amount of 2-ply could cost “tens of thousands more” depending on the anticipated product use rate, he said. 

    “It’s probably not a one-for-one swap-out as far as how much product people use,” Waldvogel said. “The thicker paper will be less sheets per roll, and if the dispensers aren’t accommodating, then we will have to change them more often.”

    Other universities across the country, such as Duke University, have been successful in implementing the change to 2-ply. 

    Albert Scott, Duke University’s director of housekeeping, grounds and sanitation and recycling, wrote in an email that at Duke, “there hasn’t been a significant increase in cost, and [I] haven’t received any complaints concerning the new 2-ply tissue.”

    Waldvogel also said that while the Physical Plant is somewhat dependent on the different manufacturers for pricing options, the staff hopes to be able to get the matter sorted out shortly. 

    “As we assemble the prices and options and assemble an estimated cost, we’ll provide that to university leadership for consideration,” Waldvogel said. 

    He said the Physical Plant is waiting for information from Brian Gutierrez, the vice chancellor for finance and administration, before making a final decision.

    “Then at most, we’ve only got a couple months worth of stock of toilet paper left to switch out,” Waldvogel said. 

    Blake Tilley, the SGA vice president of external affairs, wrote in an email that student response to the 2-ply resolution has been “mostly positive.” Tilley presented the resolution to the House of Student Representatives with Westphal. 

    “We worked with administration regarding an issue voiced by our students, and that’s something I’m proud of,” Tilley wrote. “SGA is here to listen to the student body and work on making their experience at TCU better, and that’s exactly what Cody [Westphal] and I did with this resolution.”