Rough times coming: County switches to 2-ply toilet paper to save money

Riverside County in California is doing its part to save money during the recession -- cutting back from four-ply toilet paper to two-ply for the approximately 100 executives who had the cushy four-ply until whistleblowers uncovered their expensive habit.

In a government where all county workers are taking a 10% pay cut to help cut huge budget shortfalls, Riverside County leaders decided to do what they can to save on the 500,000 roles the county buys each year -- its biggest volume purchase, with $270,000 spent on toilet paper in 2008, according to a New York Times story.
The county had one-ply sheets up until two years ago, when a supervisor led a board move to go to the softer two-ply after criticism that one-ply wasn't good enough.


But somewhere down the road, the county's 10 elected officials, the executive leadership and their staff members started using Angel Soft four-ply toilet tissue -- less than 100 people among 18,500 county workers.

Four-ply is less than a third of a penny per sheet more expensive than two-ply, and it had to go.

My question is, how did someone decide that their behind was good enough for four-ply, but that the other 18,400 workers didn't deserve it?

A county spokesman, Tom Freeman, told the Times: "There was a texture test, and then the Facilities Management Department decided that Angel Soft would be utilized for elected officials and their guests. The remainder of the county facilities would be using two-ply."

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