Joy Onasch, TURI, masccc2013

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Toxics Use Reduction Institute

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Joy Onasch, TURI, masccc2013

  1. 1. Sustainable Practices in the Dry Cleaning SectorMaking the Case for Professional Wet CleaningApril 24, 2013
  2. 2. 2 . 25-Jul-11What is Perc and Why is it a Problem?Able to dissolve most organic materials, perchloroethylene (PCE or perc) isthe most widely used dry cleaning solvent in Massachusetts and nationally.A typical dry cleaningmachine…generateshazardous wasteand has fugitiveemissionsThough perc machines have improved emissions over time, there is still exposureto workers and even co-located residences and clothes taken home.
  3. 3. 3 . 25-Jul-11Short and long term health effectslinked to use of perc include:Misuse of perc can lead tosoil and groundwatercontamination.75% of drycleaner sites inthe US are contaminated.Many are Superfund sites.•Dizziness, confusion•Damage to liver & kidneys•Neurotoxicity•Reproductive toxicity•Developmental toxicity•Cancer
  4. 4. 4 . 25-Jul-11Cleaners Market Themselves as “Green,”“Organic,” “Natural,” “EnvironmentallyFriendly”But what does this mean?Alternatives include:•Hydrocarbons•Siloxane (ex: GreenEarth)•Glycol Ethers (ex: Solvair)These all have their ownenvironmental and health issues
  5. 5. 5 . 25-Jul-11Wet Cleaning and CO2 are considered the most environmentally friendly options. WetCleaning technology is the more affordable of the two.Washer and dryer usebiodegradabledetergents, andconditionersFinishing equipment re-shapes anddries the slightly damp clothes
  6. 6. 6 . 25-Jul-11Risks/Benefits of Wet Cleaning• 200+ shops in CA are dedicated wet cleaning sites.• They do have regulatory pressure to change andsome economic assistance, but the 5 we visited saidthey wouldn’t go back.• They said that if they can do it in Malibu…• 11 cleaners in MA are dedicated to wet cleaning,many others use some percentage.• Greatest risks are not having the right equipmentand training.
  7. 7. 7 . 25-Jul-11Costs/Benefits of Wet Cleaning for the CleanersHazardous waste disposal0Solvent costs0Regulatoryfees/oversight/paperwork0Electricity usage Lowered, if using 100% wet cleaning in theshop. Can be up to 25% lower!Water usage Should be lowered depending on equipmentreplaced. Varies from shop to shop.Detergent costs Slightly higher as no detergent was used withperc. Initial stock necessary.Capital investment Wet cleaning equipment can be slightly morethan for perc. But payback has been found tobe about 4 years.
  8. 8. 8 . 25-Jul-11Is all Wet Cleaning Created Equal?• There is a variety of equipment• Washer– Needs to have a detergent pumping system and programs set– Detergent and water need to mix before hitting clothes• Common names: Miele, Wascomat, some Continental• Dryer– Needs to have residual moisture control• Common names: Miele, Wascomat, American Dryer• Tensioning Equipment– Needs to fit blouses, jackets, pants and have enough power to reshape• Common names: Hi-Steam, Unipress, Veit
  9. 9. 9 . 25-Jul-11How do you know old vs. newtechnology?• Washers, dryers, tensioning pieces need tomeet specs• Understand the difference between laundryand wet cleaning• Verify proper training with appropriatetechnology
  10. 10. 10 . 25-Jul-11How do you find a wet cleaner?• Visit our web site to find a list and CleanWater Fund’s interactive mapwww.turi.org/drycleaning
  11. 11. 11 . 25-Jul-11 Toxics Use Reduction Institute University of Massachusetts LowellCommunity and Small Business ProgramManager:Joy OnaschPhone: 978-934-4343Email: joy@turi.orgWeb: www.turi.org/drycleaning

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