Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

More and more states requiring green cleaning

January 27, 2010

MADISON, WI — With 10 states now requiring or encouraging green cleaning in schools and public buildings — and similar legislation pending in five more states — there is more debate than ever over the costs and benefits of the measures, according to the Associated Press.

According to the story, states like Connecticut, Illinois and New York have laws in place urging or requiring school cleaning crews to use products in accordance with Green Seal Inc., but critics say the laws can hurt schools and governments that are already struggling financially and that states shouldn''t rely on certifications from only one organization.

John Matthews, senior vice president for JohnsonDiversey, said that green cleaning products should not put an additional strain on school and government budgets, but Stephen Ashkin, executive director of the Green Cleaning Network and president of The Ashkin Group LLC, points out that toilet paper, trash bags and paper towels made from recycled materials can still cost up to 20 percent more than traditional products, the story stated.

Dan Rossmiller, a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, said: "If the choice is between being mandated to buy a new vacuum cleaner or keep your elementary music teacher, I''m not sure that''s the direction we ought to be going."
Schools in New York responding to a state survey said their costs went up an average of 10 percent the first year they complied with the law, the story stated.

Proponents of the law say that reducing chemicals is important to protecting children''s health, and that a move towards green cleaning is a definite trend in government, the story added.

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