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Cleaning

Western Sustainability Goal: Clean buildings for health in the most sustainable manner possible.

Academic Custodial Services (ACS)

ACS

Academic Custodial Services at WWU has used internationally certified Green Seal products for industrial/institutional cleaners for approx. 5 years. All general products used by ACS are Green Seal 37 certified including SE 64 (neutral general purpose cleaner), SE 61 (Glass/Surface cleaner), and SE 80 (multi-use non-heavy metal containing floor finish). ACS has reduced chemical product inventories from sixty plus products in 2000 to twenty in 2006 with three main cleaning products used as the backbone of the daily operations.

Benchmarks used when selecting a sustainable product line:

  • Green Seal or other "green" certified products (eco-Label, Green Leaf)
  • Non toxic ingredients
  • No petro chemical distillates
  • No endocrine disrupters
  • No butyls or ethers
  • No RTU (ready to use)
  • Mixable concentrates only
  • Minimal packaging
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Packaging incorporating recycled material
  • Container reusability
  • Low VOC's (volatile organic compounds)
  • Effective cleaning performance
  • Color coding to prevent mixing or cross contamination
  • Easy to read MSDS
  • Portion control systems – Portioners
  • Customer support and training materials available
  • Good online accessibility to product/ingredient

A primary component of a green cleaning operation besides the guidelines and products in use above is the introduction of micro fiber cleaning technology in the form of micro wipes (cleaning/dusting cloths), micro fiber wet/damp flat mop pads, micro fiber dust mops, micro fiber dusting sleeves, and micro fiber floor finish applicator pads.

Many cleaning tasks can be preformed using water as the cleaning agent (97% reduction in hard surface bacteria, fungi and viruses). Reduced chemical product use is another component of greening our program. AC also uses floor scrubbers that use only H2O and no chemical products , uses baking soda and vinegar for general cleaning, and makes use of low moisture scrubbers and carpet cleaners.

 

Contact: Michael Smith, ACS Departmental Supervisor, Michael.Smith@wwu.edu

Green Cleaning Award

Green Cleaning Award

Western Washington University's Academic Custodial Services (ACS) staff has been recognized three times as being among the five "greenest" cleaning operations in the nation.
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cleaning