Cutting carbon emissions and costs
07 March 2013
Each year, more than one million tonnes of Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) waste is generated, much of which is landfilled and a significant amount of which is produced by the commercial sector. Ecosan, an ecological sanitary solutions business, has set about reducing this by being able to recycle 98% of all sanitary, nappy and incontinence waste. Cleaning Matters finds out more
As a company with sustainability and environmental protection at its core, and a commitment to identify new ways to recycle waste, Ecosan extends this commitment across all areas of the business including washroom hygiene, corporate wear and dust control mats.
Ecosan dust control mats are specially engineered to use the latest technology in trapping dust, dirt and moisture. The robust scraper and alu-profile mats take care of coarse dirt and moisture right at the entrance, and the fine standard and logo mats take over service inside the building - the mats are suitable for use both inside and outside.
By doing so companies can considerably reduce the need for additional floor cleaning, not only prolonging the life of their flooring, but saving on cleaning costs too.
Managing carbon throughout the supply chain Ecosan is responsible for the servicing of these mats on a rental basis, ensuring that customers have professionally cleaned dust mats on a regular basis. This is usually once a fortnight, but as the mats absorb water and mud, cleaning levels increase during rainy weather.
"Although the offsite supplier we were using to professionally clean the dust mats was selected for their environmental management practices, an audit we performed revealed that not enough carbon was being saved through our supply chain, so we started to investigate our options," said Sonja Wood, director of Ashford-based EcoSan Services.
Ecosan discussed its requirements with Miele Professional dealer, Allsop and Frances, who took away some of the dust mats to test them on Miele's commercial machines in their test laundry in Abingdon.
Dust map challenges Due to the mat's absorption technology and the 100% nitrile rubber backing they become extremely heavy and hard to dry, which was the challenge that Miele faced.
Miele tested the mats in the Miele PW 6321 washer-extractor.
Thanks to the spring-balance technology on this model, the extra heavy load remained balanced, which is constantly adjusted throughout the load. Without this technology, the drum would go off balance not cleaning the mats properly and damage the machine.
Miele faced further challenges when it came to the drying. In addition to the excess weight of the load, the mats must not be overdried, which would stiffen the rubber backing and embed creases, over time damaging the rubber. The rubber backing also means that the temperature must not be too high.
Together the Miele PW 6321 & PT 7801 provided the best solution for Ecosan. The programme ability meant that the machine could be programmed to finish the load with a specific percentage of moisture so that the mat can retain just enough flexibility, and the temperature set to ensure the most effective drying without compromising the performance of the rubber.
Saving more carbon onsite Impressed with the results together with Miele's green credentials and the carbon savings that would be realised by installing the products, Ecosan set up its own onsite laundry. Today 26,000 dustmats are washed onsite throughout the year.
Ecosan has not only been able to gain total control over its carbon emissions, but the company has also been able to reduce outgoings by a massive £25,000pa by installing an onsite laundry.
Wood explains: "All the Miele machines are oriented to water and energy saving systems, which is why we installed them. We have also been able to implement further environmental savings by having the machines onsite. For example, the laundry water from the towel rolls is re-used to launder the dust control mats. An efficient washing technique and optimised laundry process reduce the use of water and laundry detergent." "Not only am I impressed with the performance of the Miele products, but the after care provided by Allsop and Frances is top class, prompt and friendly. Our business is set to grow and I anticipate investing in more machines to cater for this increase, this is an expansion I can make with confidence knowing that our washing and drying facilities can meet the demand."