Ten Tips for Cleaning Schools Over Summer Break from CleanLink News

Ten Tips for Cleaning Schools Over Summer Break

1. Prepare a written plan. Summer break cleaning shouldn’t be “hit or miss.” Have a written plan as to who will tackle which projects and when.

2. Address floor care specifics. Big summer cleanup projects usually involve floor care; before doing any floor-care work, divide the facility into those floor areas that will be stripped/refinished; those that will only be scrubbed; and those that need only detail cleaning.

3. Attend to closet maintenance. Go through janitorial closets and properly discard of any chemicals or other products that have not been used in six months or longer; typically, chemicals should never be stored for more than a year.

4. Go green. For those facilities transferring to a green cleaning strategy, the summer months are an opportune time to start making this transfer. Special green cleaning training may be required during this transition, and summer break can provide that extra time.

5. Equipment issues. Evaluate all cleaning equipment; determine which machines are running properly, which need servicing, and which should be replaced.

6. Evaluate furniture condition. Flag those items that need repair or should be replaced.

7. Tile and grout. The summer months are a perfect time to clean tile and grout floors using floor machines with brushes such as cylindrical brush or “mutitask” systems.

8. Evaluate cleaning protocols. To improve cleaning efficiency and help lower costs, use a workloading program to evaluate all cleaning tasks and frequencies.

9. Replace lightbulbs. Replace all conventional lightbulbs with low-voltage bulbs that not only use less energy but also last as long as a decade.

10. Train, train, train. Summer break is the perfect time for extra training for cleaning professionals.


Stephen Ashkin-Green Cleaning Action Plan

Lights, Camera, Action! Your Green Cleaning Action Plan

By Stephen Ashkin, The Ashkin Group

It is becoming more clear that our economy and environment are inextricably linked: now is the time when we, as a nation and planet, need to come to terms with the fact that this is no longer the world that our grandparents knew.

So, for just one moment, please put your beliefs aside and consider a simple reality of our world, and the world that our children will inherit in 40 years.

The world and changes

My grandparents immigrated to America around 1900.

At that time, there were approximately 1.7 billion people sharing our planet. Today, there are approximately 6.4 billion people, which represent a 375 percent increase in just 100 years.

And in 2050, when my children are my age, there will be approximately 10 billion people sharing our planet.

While it took mankind thousands of years to get to 1.7 billion, we are now adding another billion people approximately every 15 years.

According to the United Nations and the World Resources Institute, the population of developed countries, such as the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, along with other developed countries, remains relatively stable, while most of the global population growth is coming from developing countries such as India, China and from the African continent.

Here is the challenge: Just 100 years ago, when there were just a couple billion of us, there seemed to be plenty of resources for all to share. But when global population climbs upwards to 10 billion people at the same time developing countries become more affluent, this confluence of events will force us to rethink how we do things.

As these developing countries work to provide better housing, schools and hospitals for their people, the global demand for steel, concrete and other minerals will increase, as will the demand for other products and the natural resources needed for construction.

As their people become more affluent, they will desire many of the same comforts that we take for granted, such as indoor plumbing with hot water on demand and electricity to light, heat and cool their homes, as well as all the gadgets and gismos ranging from computers and cell phones to refrigerators and cooking stoves.

And with these comes the demand for energy and materials to make all this stuff.

Today, in many of the developing countries, people customarily ride bicycles to work or take buses or other means of public transportation. But as they become more affluent, they are likely to be no different from those in developed countries by desiring personal cars, especially when commuting long distances in the rain or snow. And with this comes an increased demand for materials to build the vehicles and the fuels to power them.

And as global population grows to 10 billion, the demand for food and water will increase. If we want to feed all the planet”s people (which all governments in both developed and developing countries desire), we will need to produce more food and to do so using less water as the competition between water for drinking and farming goes global.

Clearly, our world in 2013 is different from that in 1900 due to global population growth and the competition for limited natural resources. This is an inevitable consequence of the increasing population growth.

And the world we are leaving our children and grandchildren will again be different than today because of global population and even greater competition for resources, some of which may be diminishing.

The simple facts

What has changed is not politics or ideology.

Rather, it is the simple fact that there are more mouths to feed, people to clothe and shelter and other basic needs that our children and grandchildren will have to address.

They simply cannot follow the same path for constructing buildings and manufacturing products that previous generations had done when there were so many less of us. Nor can they follow our path for energy use, food and other products.

That is the challenge for our children and grandchildren. The good news is that there are many things that we can do today, both in our businesses and in our own lives, which can really make a difference.

And much of it is good business — good for entrepreneurs.

That”s right. As we reduce our consumption and reduce waste, and use products that have less of a negative impact on the environment, we are making important environmental improvements and saving money.

And at this time in history, these are both terrific goals regardless of politics or ideology.

The rest of this article is your action plan, several specific steps you can take to not only care for the environment, but to create a better business for yourself.

The type of company you run and its size will have an impact on how many of the following points you can implement.

What you can do with your business

Reward sustainable behavior when choosing suppliers. In the end, companies that are taking sustainability seriously and eliminating inefficiencies and waste in everything they do will be better, more financially secure suppliers in the long run.

Use green products and equipment. These can be simple and easy opportunities. Your supplier, no doubt, has a selection of green products and equipment you can choose from, along with marketing materials to help get your message out to your customers.

But be sure to try to reduce consumption of all products and materials. It is not enough to just use “greener” products.

Increase maintenance on equipment so they perform optimally and last longer. For many operations, there are large savings that can be found in these areas, and when equipment lasts longer there are significant environmental benefits as well.

Conserve water in the cleaning process through low-moisture cleaning.

What you can do with your vehicles

Trucks and other vehicles have huge cost implications, as well as environmental impacts in terms of the materials used to make, operate and dispose of them at the end of their life.

Better route planning to eliminate excess mileage and idling and improving maintenance, including easy things such as insuring proper air pressure in tires and alignment, can save money, improve efficiency and extend the life of vehicles.

Many businesses operate a variety of vehicles. If this is your situation, match the size, capacity, performance and other characteristics with the job at hand. Using a vehicle that is larger or smaller than necessary will waste resources, time or both.

Your business “footprint” technically should also include the vehicles operated by your internal personnel as they commute to work, as well as the vehicles used by sales people — even if they are their personal vehicles.

To reduce this footprint and the associated environmental impacts, consider a program to encourage the use of public transportation, carpooling, ride sharing or buying/leasing high-mileage hybrid vehicles.

Another opportunity is to allow some employees, such as those involved in sales or those that have office duties, to periodically work from home. Don”t forget to measure, track and report on these efforts. Not only do they help the environment, but many employees will appreciate these programs, as it increases their job satisfaction and will leave more money in their pocket.

What you can do with your people

What makes sustainability different from an environmental program is its inclusion of issues affecting an organization”s people, and among the first and most important issues in the United States is training, with a focus on effective processes that improve performance and eliminate waste.

So get people involved, empower and motivate them. Share the responsibility, as people want to make a difference. To help them do this, make sure to measure, track and report on at least a monthly basis so they are getting feedback on their performance. For example, report on your vehicle or equipment consumption of fuel. This will encourage employees to conserve.

Beyond training, consider issues including diversity in hiring and equal opportunity for advancement, along with pay and benefits (a growing issue will be a “living wage”).

Most businesses are also good community citizens, and these issues include philanthropy by both the company and by individual employees, volunteerism and similar acts. These should all be measured, tracked and reported.

What you can do with your green marketing

Get involved and get started. Remember that you are attempting to sell your company as an environmentally-friendly option.

Don”t just join and pay membership dues to organizations, such as the U.S. Green Building Council, but participate actively.

Set a goal to join a committee, board of directors or other opportunities to serve.

Look for opportunities to speak about green issues during monthly meetings, as well as opportunities to publish in trade journals, local newspapers and magazines, as these are good ways to build credibility and to prospect for new customers.

From a sales perspective, begin by focusing on green buildings, as these building owners and facility managers understand the issues and have already made the commitment to be green.

Organizations to look for include the members of the U.S. Green Building Council and buildings in their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system (www.usgbc.org).

In addition, there are other “green” organizations representing almost every building segment including homes, schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and more. A simple online Internet search will likely help develop an extensive prospecting list. Join local chapters or groups and get involved and get noticed.

When developing your green sales pitch (your position in the marketplace), make sure you don”t intentionally or even inadvertently “greenwash”, which simply means that you are exaggerating the environmental bene-fits that your company or service offers.

To avoid greenwashing, just make sure you can document your claims. So if you say that your service uses X percent less water (or fuel, or whatever) than your competitors or traditional services, have the proof to back up your claim.

When developing your actual marketing literature, consider using recycled paper or, better yet, paper from sustainably managed forests and, of course, print everything two-sided.

And for the pictures to decorate your brochures, consider using people rather than waterfalls or deer leaping through the forest.

After all, the real species we are ultimately trying to protect is human and to make the planet a better place for our children and grandchildren.

Making a difference

The most important takeaway from all of this is that, due to global population growth, our way of doing things must change or we will leave extraordinary burdens for our children and grand- children.

Regardless of political or ideological inclinations, as carpet cleaning, remediation and restoration professionals, making a difference in the world by reducing wastes of all kinds (energy, water, chemicals, vehicles, equipment, people, time, etc.) not only helps to create a better future, but it can help create a better and more profitable business today.

Hand Dryer Location and Paper Towels Influence Hand Washing, CleanLink

Hand Dryer Location Influences Hand Washing

By SM Editorial Staff 
In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by members of the industry

Does the placement of hand dryers in a public restroom promote hand washing? Where is the best placement?
Yes, it does promote hand washing. Customers recognize high-speed hand dryers that dry their hands effectively and efficiently. The best placement is on the way out of the washroom in a similar location to where the towel dispensers were mounted. This allows for continuous flow in and out of the washroom. Hand dryers in restrooms do promote “hand washing” if placed in the correct spot in the restroom, the best place is closest to the door near the location of the faucets.

— Kevin Knapp, director of sales and marketing, Palmer Fixture, Green Bay, Wis.

Our hand dryers were designed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which defines the accessibility requirements for U.S. washroom spaces. In addition to these requirements, the best placement of hand dryers as well as paper towel dispensers in a public restroom is as close to the sinks as possible. This helps to keep the bathroom safe by limiting the amount of water that is tracked on the floor.

— Rob Green, engineer, Dyson, Chicago

Proper placement of the hand dryers will make it easier to flow traffic through the restroom. It is best to avoid narrow walkways and passages in compliance with ADA requirements. Keeping the dryers closer to the sinks is always best.
— Michael E. Robert, vice president sales and technology, American Dryer Inc., Livonia, Mich.

Placement is definitely a consideration. Hand dryers should be placed convenient to the sink to eliminate unnecessary steps and the chance it won’t be used.

— Dan Storto, senior vice president, sales and marketing, World Dryer, Berkeley, Ill.

Hygiene is crucial these days; no one wants to touch extra restroom surfaces if they can help it, you want to remove as many “touch points” as possible. Installing hand dryers in reasonable proximity to the sinks is certainly key in making sure they are easily accessible.

Also make sure to consider the application: are your restroom patrons primarily adults, teenagers or young children? Considering restroom demographics will make a difference not only in installation (i.e., how high the dryers should be mounted on the walls), but also in product selection. If your restroom serves a teenaged population, you may have to consider whether your appliances are vandal-proof. Some trough-style dryers become a target for foreign substances being stuffed or poured into the dryer’s basin and not user friendly for small children or people with a handicap.

— William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and key accounts, Excel Dryer, East Longmeadow, Mass.

Is there a place for both hand dryers and paper towels in a restroom?
We see more and more facilities offer both towel and dryers. This offers the customer the choice between paper or hand dryers and minimizing their impact on the environment. 

— Kevin Knapp, director of sales and marketing, Palmer Fixture, Green Bay, Wis.

Drying hands is just as important as washing them: damp hands can spread up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands. The best way to ensure hands are dry is for facilities managers to provide a drying method that is fast and hygienic. Our machine is hygienic as paper towels, but without the associated drawbacks of high running costs and paper waste. 

— Rob Green, engineer, Dyson, Chicago

Hand dryers are the preferred method due to their lower cost, environmental impact and better hygiene. However, there will be a need for paper towel in some applications. For example, a shop my want paper towel to wipe off greasy hands.

— Michael E. Robert, vice president sales and technology, American Dryer Inc., Livonia, Mich.

A good hand dryer can eliminate the need for a paper towel dispenser altogether but for some environments, a preferable installation can include hand dryers near the main exit for hand drying and one paper dispenser for drying your face (or near a changing table in family restrooms). This cuts waste as well as the expense of stocking and maintaining the dispenser. The savings made possible by an energy-efficient hand dryer is quantifiable: for example, high-speed hand dyer models deliver a 95 percent cost savings when compared to paper towels. If you calculate what you would have to spend on paper and dispenser maintenance vs. a one-time installation, you’ll always come out ahead with a good hand dryer. It is also a great source reduction alternative.

Quality hand dryers are virtually maintenance-free, except for a recommended annual cleaning.

— William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and key accounts, Excel Dryer, East Longmeadow, Mass.
posted on: 5/11/201

Asthma Friendly School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under 15 years of age, and the leading cause of absence in school.

One school in Duval County decided to try to do something about it and today they were awarded for it.

John Love Elementary is the first school in Duval County to be honored as an Asthma Friendly school by the Florida Asthma Coalition.

The staff, teachers and students with asthma participated in the Asthma 101 program, to learn how to help students with asthma and to prevent and respond to asthma emergencies.

America’s Lung Association, Ciera Walton said, “What we are trying to prevent is for them not to miss school days, so they can be in school for them and get the education they need.”

Principal Laura Bowes has a son with asthma and was instrumental in starting the program. She realizes it can help keep kids in school, with asthma attacks being the leading cause of school absences.

“It educates parents, students, and teachers about the triggers of asthma so they are fully aware of what to look for and how to prevent flare-ups,” said Bowes

Monica Sorrels, a parent with an asthma child, learned things she didn’t know.

“Air freshener, that can cause it, and I did not even realize that a fragrance could flare up asthma,” said Sorrels.

Third grader Kenneth Geddes said it can be rough at times living with asthma.

Geddes said, “they gave us prizes every time we answered questions and I was good at it.”

Bre-nay Jones, second grader, “I thought it was fun. The best thing is I learned a lot. I learned key words about asthma and I learned how not to have an asthma attack.”

“Awesome, awesome, awesome, it is always good to be number one. We are glad to be the model for the district to follow,” said Bowes

First Coast News





Redefining The Value of Cleaning

By David Frank  

The cleaning industry finds itself struggling to sustain the core principles that are valuable to its customers and the final consumers of cleaning, the building occupants. Many people will assume that we only dump the trash, clean the restrooms and dust the blinds. This may be reality for some of the market, but others are looking for more than this tactical perception of cleaning from our industry.

The first step is to understand that cleaning is viewed by the public as a “health product.” Many companies have identified that cleaning is good for business: a facility with a clean image and high level of hygiene attracts and retains tenants, and enhances the customer experience. In other words, clean buildings help generate revenue for corporate America.

Our purpose
With a better understanding of our role as owners, managers and leaders in the cleaning industry, we can redirect, educate and elevate the awareness of the value we provide as an industry.

Consider the four cornerstones of cleaning:

  1. To enhance the image and appearance of buildings: Whether the customer is a visitor of a hotel, a student selecting a university, or a tenant seeking an office, their decision to do business within the building is affected by its appearance. Dirty buildings do not sell well. Explain to your customer organizations how they can use their clean buildings as a marketing tool to grow their business and reputation.
  2. To protect and preserve assets: Floors, carpets and other surfaces must be cleaned regularly and properly. Failure to protect and preserve these surfaces through cleaning only leads to higher costs later when building owners or managers have to replace worn, damaged and soiled surfaces. It is important to help your customers understand the implications of cutting back on cleaning frequencies and reducing the life cycle of building assets.
  3. To improve health and hygiene: Cleaning businesses will not make money performing basic, tactical cleaning. We must focus on best practices in cleaning in order to clean for health and hygiene. Using a better vocabulary to describe our industry will generate value and increase margins. Enhancing hygiene and focusing on occupant well being is worth more than “we clean your building.”
  4. To increase safety and reduce risks: A good cleaning program includes best practices to protect occupants from not only the risk of infectious disease and cross-contamination, but also the risk of slips and falls. Cleaning contractors can help reduce risk and liability, and also enhance the safety program for the building manager.

It is easy for an industry to lose its way. As leaders and industry stewards, we all must identify the core principles of the service we provide. We must redirect our message as an industry. Our message must be consistent, direct and clear. We must work hard to promote the value of cleaning.

Dave Frank is a 30 year industry veteran and the president of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences, an independent third-party accreditation organization that establishes standards to improve the professional performance of the cleaning industry.