Chicago — Many building service contractors (BSCs) are now going green, but just like their customers, many are baffled as to what green entails and what steps they should take.
One of the first issues to contend with is what to do with all the old and not-so-green cleaning tools, products, and equipment.
Although it may come as a surprise, experts generally agree that the most environmentally responsible thing to do is use up all the conventional products with the exception of those that might have the greatest negative impact on health or the environment.
As to equipment, Michael Schaffer, president of Tornado Industries®, suggests replacing conventional vacuum cleaners after three years of service and floor care equipment within five years or sooner, if possible.
Otherwise, Schaffer suggests the following top 10 ways BSCs can go green:
1. Use only green-certified cleaning chemicals.
2. Choose vacuum cleaners bearing the Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).
3. Group cleaning routes by geographic area to save on fuel.
4. Have workers carpool to job sites.
5. Select floor machines with built-in vacuum systems to help protect indoor air quality.
6. Use cleaning chemical auto-dispensing systems.
7. Encourage clients to install high-performance matting systems.
8. Transfer to cylindrical-brush floor machines, which use less water and chemicals.
9. Extend floor refinishing cycles; some conventional floor care chemicals can be harmful to the environment.
10. Recycle, reuse, reduce — everything.
A final tip, Schaffer adds, is to select multitasking equipment — machines that can be used on hard-surface floors as well as on carpets. “One machine that does two jobs will save space, save time, save resources and be more cost effective as well.”