Reducing the Environmental Impact in the Janitorial Service Industry

Reducing Waste in the Janitorial Service Industry.


How does the commercial janitorial industry reduce their impact on the environment? In our trade, we have a high impact on the use of paper products, water and chemicals that can have a drastic impact on the environment. Here are a few of Garden City Janitorial’s ideas of waste reduction in commercial janitorial.

The Processing of the Paper Products

We look at the type of paper used to create the items we use daily. These include items such as toilet paper, paper towels, multifold towel and others. The biggest and most noticeable is using unbleached versus bleached items. Bleached products use chlorine to create the white color of the towels. Using unbleached towels not only removes the use of this chemical, its negative effect on the environment, it also reduces the cost of that product, as the extra processing step for bleached products is removed.

The Style of Towel Used

There are many different types of towels. The most popular being single fold, multi-fold and roll types. There are many factors involved in both choosing what type of towels for the reduction of waste but their cost impact. These factors include:

  • The number of towels per box.
  • The estimated number of towels used per person.
  • Size of the towels.
  • Time and labor cost of filling each dispenser.

In one example of the comparison of the style of towels, Conservatree data estimated that using 8” roll towels have the potential to reduce more waste than its counterparts. In the example, their data table shows one folded paper towel can serve 65,000 people (they base this on estimated use in a busy public bathroom) while a roll towel can serve up to 156,000 in the same amount of time.

The Use of Bulk Chemical(s)

Another practice to the reduction of waste in commercial janitorial is moving to a bulk fill (or refill as it may be) practice with the chemicals the company may use. At Garden City Janitorial, we found a great multi-use general chemical that we buy in bulk. We then have created a station where the chemical is diluted to the proper specifications from the manufacturer. We have our staff, after the bottle of chemical is used up, bring that bottle back to our office to be refilled.

This allows for the reuse of the bottles, reducing the use of single use plastics. It also reduces the environmental impact created by the shipping of the chemicals, as buying in bulk use reduces the number of trips our suppliers need to make for delivery.

A Laundry System

Another way to reduce create waste reduction in commercial janitorial services, is to use cloth rags and mops. We have a laundry set up at our office with cloth “dirty laundry” bags at each location. We then can reduce or even eliminate the use of paper products while cleaning. Commercial washing machines are also used, reducing the number of cycles needed to wash the rags and the water used for those cycles. Using cloth “dirty laundry” bags at each site also prevents the use of plastic garbage bags to collect and transport the dirty rags and mops.

While these are just a few examples of practices that can help reducing waste in the commercial janitorial sector, we find they make a large impact.


Any other waste reducing practice ideas? Shoot us a message as we would love to hear them!

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