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News & Notes

September 19, 2010
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Feds require bio-based cleaners

All federal agencies must create a program that establishes a preference for purchasing bio-based products, including cleaning chemicals, by January 11, 2006.

The guidelines also mandate that offices require contractors, including janitorial companies, to comply with policies pertaining to the use of bio-based products.

MI schools set outsourcing record

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy found that Michigan schools are contracting out more non-essential work, including cleaning, than ever before.

Of the 552 Michigan school districts interviewed, 8.7 percent outsource janitorial services — up from 6.6 percent just two years ago.

Employee and union opposition proved the most significant barrier to privatization, according to respondents.

CA to require green cleaning?

Global Green USA released its Green Schools Report touting the benefits of environmentally sustainable practices — including integrated pest management (IPM), indoor air quality (IAQ) programs, and green cleaning practices — for education facilities.

It also urged the California Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign the Green Schools Bill (AB315), which would require the State Allocation Board to consider the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Best Practices Guide when creating requirements for janitorial, IPM, IAQ, and maintenance procedures.

SEIU forsakes AFL-CIO

The Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — which represents custodians — voted to withdraw from the AFL-CIO on the first day of the 50-year-old labor federation''s annual meeting.

SEIU President Andy Stern, recognized as the leader of recently formed Change to Win Coalition that includes hotel workers'' group UNITE HERE, said the executive boards unanimously agreed to disaffiliate.

K-C cuts 6,000 jobs

Paper products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Corp., Neenah, WI, will cut 6,000 jobs and close or sell 20 plants in an effort to expand operations in markets such as India and China.

The JanSan manufacturer said the restructuring program will cut about 10 percent of its work force and eliminate 17 percent of its manufacturing facilities.

ISSA®, OSHA partner for safety

The ISSA®, Lincolnwood, IL, aligned with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to promote the safety and health of workers in the cleaning industry.

With OSHA, the ISSA expects to educate the industry on hazards through the development and distribution of industry-specific resources, including: Improved training materials; a website dedicated to workplace safety and health in the cleaning industry; and complimentary workshops and seminars, possibly held at ISSA/INTERCLEAN®.

JanSan practices harm kids?

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that, between 1998 and 2002, 2,593 illnesses were caused by at-school exposure to chemicals, including:

  • 35 percent by insecticides
  • 32 percent by antimicrobial disinfectants
  • 13 percent by repellants
  • 11 percent by herbicides
  • 9 percent by other causes

The article advised schools to use integrated pest management (IPM) techniques.

ABM acquires JanSan co.

Building services contractor ABM Industries Inc., San Francisco, acquired the Baltimore cleaning operations of New York-based Northeast United States Division of Initial Contract Services, Inc. for approximately $0.35 million in cash.

The acquisition included key accounts throughout the metropolitan area of Baltimore and represented over $7 million in annual contract revenue.

Green Seal standard development moves forward

Approximately 50 stakeholders volunteered to actively participate in developing Green Seal''s green cleaning standard.

Stakeholders will be part of a group that will provide frequent feedback and expertise to the research team developing the standard.

ISSA®, ARCP merge Vegas events

The ISSA®, Lincolnwood, IL, will partner with the Association of Residential Cleaning Professionals (ARCP), Meridian, MS, hosting the ARCP Convention and Educational Conference in conjunction with ISSA/INTERCLEAN® Las Vegas 2005.

IL law benefits hotel maids

A law passed by the Illinois General Assembly requires hotels to give two paid 15-minute rest breaks per day for housekeeping staff.

The law was sponsored by State Representative John Fritchey and State Senator Ira Silverstein.

Seattle cleaning goes green

Seattle Public Utilities is launching an initiative called Wasteless in Seattle, which includes cleaning chemical standards and recycling initiatives.

The utility is moving toward more green purchasing — buying non-toxic window cleaners, janitorial supplies, and environmentally preferable electronics.

Housekeeping Channel hits the media

Newsweek posted The Housekeeping Channel, Boise, ID, on its online Tip Sheet.

Kim Komando, host of The Kim Komando Show and contributor to CNN/Money''s consumer technology, and BayNews 9 also highlighted


ABM appoints Andre SVP

ABM Industries Inc., San Francisco, named Erin M. Andre senior vice president of Human Resources, responsible for managing all human resource functions for the company.

P&G, CMI® select i-Pod winner

The Cleaning Management Institute® (CMI®) selected Dave Titmus, a custodial supervisor at the Morrison Center for Performing Arts, Boise State University, ID, from respondents to an online survey to receive an Apple i-Pod.

A cleaning professional since 1998, Titmus was chosen at random after completing a survey of industry pros by CMI® and P&G Professional Cleaners.

G&K Services hires McCabe, Wallace

Minneapolis-based supplier of JanSan uniforms G&K Services, Inc. appointed Michael McCabe vice president of National Accounts and Scott Wallace, vice president of Marketing.

The Maids appoints IT director

The Maids Home Services, Omaha, NE, hired Thom Johnson as director of Information Technology.

ServiceMaster board elects Spainhour

Downers Grove, IL-based ServiceMaster elected J. Patrick Spainhour to its board of directors.

Spainhour serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Ann Taylor, Inc., as well as a director of Circuit City Stores, Inc. and the Tupperware Corporation.

Survey respondent wins DVD player

The Cleaning Management Institute® (CMI®) selected Bernard Mills, director of Facilities, LifeBridge Health and Fitness, Baltimore, from respondents to a buying trends and floor care products survey to receive a Philips 10.2-inch widescreen portable DVD player.

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