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Tuesday, March 05, 2024

New on-campus laundry machines more efficient, expensive

UF students who moved back to campus this August returned to a semester of new professors, new classes and a new laundry system.

Students living on campus during the last academic year paid only 75 cents to wash or dry their clothes. This semester, students are paying an extra 50 cents every time they use the machines.

The reason for the increase is new energy-efficient machines placed in 25 laundry rooms throughout campus, according to Sharon Blansett, assistant director of housing for marketing, public relations and research.

The new machines are designed to hold 20 pounds of laundry and use 15 gallons of water per wash, versus the older machines that only held 12 pounds of laundry and used 30 gallons of water per wash.

Even though it costs ,1.25 for each cycle, students are only paying more because they are able to wash more with the increase in size of the machines. Students are still being charged 13 cents a pound to do laundry as they were before.

"When we looked around town, the new laundry prices are fairly standard," Blansett said. "There aren't many other places that have cheaper prices."

Another difference students may notice is that the new machines appear to be smaller than the older ones, since they are loaded from the front rather than the top.

Blansett said the key to making water-efficient machines is to compact them in size so that not much water is needed.

So far, the machines are running well throughout campus with the exception of a few glitches.

"We were having some of the dryers not running in the time they were supposed to run," said Heidi Lee, program assistant for maintenance service.

The new dryers should run for about 54 minutes before turning off, but some students have complained that machines have shut off early, Lee said.

Time problems were one of the main reasons for replacing the old dryers in the laundry rooms. Students constantly complained that dryers didn't run long enough and that the heat released by the machines was not always consistent.

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