Towels be gone
Towel service at Army physical fitness centers across Europe will cease beginning April 15.

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- A seemingly insignificant piece of cloth will soon have a big impact on the garrison.

U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr physical fitness centers on Grafenwoehr and Rose Barracks will discontinue towel service next month. While this might be annoying for patrons at first, the long-term fiscal and environmental impacts far outweigh the inconvenience.

Between the cost of towels, detergent, energy and labor, eliminating the service will save USAG Grafenwoehr more than $56,000 annually.

Additionally, it will decrease water consumption by 6,500 cubic meters annually, according to Aref Arianta, energy manager for the environmental division of Directorate of Public Works.

This initiative directly supports Executive Order 13514, issued by President Obama in October 2009, requiring federal agencies to reduce potable water consumption.

A memorandum signed March 12 by Kathleen Marin, regional director of Installation Management Command Europe, stated the discontinuation of towel service is to be implemented Europe-wide by April 15, with an expected savings of $530,000 within the first year.

According to Marin, the physical fitness centers will continue to provide sanitizing materials for patrons, and the savings will allow staff to focus on programming and customer service.

Page last updated Tue March 19th, 2013 at 10:46