|Greening Floor Care—While Cutting Costs, Too|
|By Michael Schaffe|
In the past few years, many facility managers have taken a new approach to maintaining hard surface floors.
Gleaming, high-gloss floors are being replaced by dull—but hopefully clean—floors.
There are two key reasons for this change:
This can leave managers in a dilemma. They want clean, shiny floors, but they also want to keep costs down and protect the environment. Fortunately, this is achievable by doing three things:
According to the Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project, most traditional (non-Green) floor strippers and finishes contain at least one of these harmful ingredients:
Most correctional facilities currently use rotary pad floor care equipment. While this is the most common type of floor care equipment, it is not necessarily the Greenest.
Many facilities are switching to cylindrical brush machines, and the reason is rather simple. Counter rotating brushes allow these machines to dig more deeply into the pores and grout of floors. In other words, the machine does more of the work, making it less dependent on chemicals and water. In fact, studies indicate that these machines use as much as 30 percent less water and chemical than rotary machines.**
Whenever less chemical is used in cleaning, it reduces the impact on the environment—the ultimate goal of Green cleaning. And since water issues are a growing concern in many parts of the U.S., any system that helps reduce water consumption and uses water more efficiently contributes to Greening floor care as well.
The Stretch Factor
Stripping and refinishing floors is the most costly aspect of floor care and, potentially, the most harmful to the environment. Reducing refinishing cycles (time between refinishes) both cuts costs and reduces negative impacts on the environment. But doing so usually requires that correctional managers develop a floor care “system” that includes:
*In some states, the soiled water and solution used to strip and refinish floors can no longer be poured down drains; rather, it must be treated as hazardous waste and taken to a hazardous waste disposal location.
**Another factor that makes cylindrical machines Greener is the fact that their brushes can be reused as many as 100 times. Rotary pads, on the other hand, must typically be replaced after each use, and then end up in overflowing landfills.
Michael Schaffer is a senior executive with Tacony’s Commercial Floor Care division. He is also president of Tornado Industries®, which manufacturers a full line of professional cleaning equipment and CFR® brand carpet extractors that recycle water and cleaning solution.
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