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The future of contract cleaning and waste management

22 February 2021

The contract cleaning and FM market is highly competitive and increasingly focused on green solutions. Therefore, asserts Nina Wyers, new innovations that provide environmentally sustainable solutions, improve speed, efficiency and - most importantly keeps standards high - are highly prized.

IN 2021 we expect to see further innovation and enhancements in several areas, driven not only by client expectations, but also by external technological, social and political factors.

Social purpose beyond box ticking 

While there has long been interest in sustainable and ethical cleaning methods and products, 2021 will see expectations step up a notch, with clients expecting to see evidence of social purpose as well as effectiveness.

Wider societal awareness around the green agenda and public concern around the need to live more sustainably is seeing changes being made within the contract cleaning and FM industry - those businesses that give sustainability a cursory nod may well find that minimal efforts are no longer adequate. 

The reality is the sustainability agenda has moved beyond box ticking and our industry is not immune from societal expectations. Clients are looking for a more solid statement of intent, keen to demonstrate that their commitment to the green agenda extends to their supply chain.

We have been focused on making small changes that make a big difference, sourcing ethical products and introducing more environmentally friendly cleaning methods, giving our clients confidence that they’re working with a business that is conscious of its social purpose, with a commitment to the green agenda that is equal to their own.

Chemical free cleaning
Chemical free cleaning systems such as Tersano and iClean, turn your ordinary tap water into a highly effective cleaner, deodoriser and sanitiser that kills up to 99.999% of bacteria and viruses, including those similar to the one that causes COVID-19. 

Tersano performs stronger than bleach and hydrogen peroxide, using only water and oxygen. The patented SAO (Stabilised Aqueous Ozone) dispenser uses electricity to add an extra molecule to 02, creating 03. This 03, or ozone, is then infused into cold tap water to create safe, high performing SAO. The ozone is attracted to germs, stains and bacteria yet is harmless to people. It quickly attacks and eliminates contaminants, leaving only pure oxygen and water after the ozone cleans and sanitises.

Not only does SAO contain no toxins, carcinogens, or chemical residue but since the introduction of Stabilised Aqueous Ozone, millions of litres of toxic chemicals are no longer emptied into landfill, groundwater, streams and rivers each month.

The Floorbrite Group has been introducing its customers to Tersano for a while now and demonstrations are available at the company's new HQ training centre. Alternatively the solutions can be trialled at clients' premises and prove the results with an Adenosine Triphosphate Hygiene Monitoring System (ATP Swab Testing), measuring residual organic matter that may remain after a surface is cleaned.

Reduce your water usage

Ureco urinal sleeve and Uretech.water management system
Winning “The Queen’s Award For Enterprise In Innovation” in 2018, the market leading, patented technology in Ureco, stops smells by trapping odours below the surface and reduces blockages through the patented enzyme system. This enables the Uretech system to reduce urinal flushes from around 96 times to just four times a day – saving money by reducing water consumption by up to 96%.

Eco-consciousness - becoming plastic-free

Plastic production is forecast to more than double by 2050 - increasing to 756million tons. 40% of plastic manufactured today is disposable packaging. Yet the global campaign to gain control of plastic waste is one of the fastest-growing environmental causes ever mounted. Ultimately manufacturers require a fundamental change in thinking about how plastics are made, used, and a responsibility to consider how they are discarded. 

Initiatives to reduce the use of plastic have dominated the last couple of years, with McDonalds’ introduction of paper straws and Glastonbury’s operating of a plastic-free festival just two examples among many. 

The drive to eliminate single-use plastic will have a significant effect on the contract cleaning industry into 2021 and beyond, which will bring both challenges and opportunities.

It’s no secret that the vast majority of cleaning products are currently contained in plastic packaging - whether bottles, bags or sachets, it’s usually plastic.  

Our industry will need to adapt, making every effort to source products that are stored in containers produced from alternative, more sustainable materials.

Waste and environmental management

Achieve your corporate and environmental responsibility with sustainable waste management from Floorbrite’s award winning waste and environmental management division. We offer a range of services covering trade waste removal, recycling, food waste removal, secure shredding, hazardous waste and diversion from landfill.

Our environmental consultants can offer a bespoke waste management package unique to your requirements with a focus on achieving your specific environmental goals. We create programmes for managing internal and external recycling and can offer baling and compaction equipment on site to reduce your waste footprint before it even travels. Accurate environmental reports can also be produced for your business showing tonnages per month produced by your site and a breakdown of each waste stream. By measuring waste on a monthly basis, we can ensure a reduction of your landfill disposal.

Waste management case study – ESB Carrington Powerstation

The Floorbrite Group was chosen by ESB Carrington Power following a Tender process, to provide services including cleaning, washroom, waste management and removals. Floorbrite provided a tailored waste removal solution that could achieve the company’s sustainability goals by reducing their carbon footprint and achieving zero waste to landfill. Carrington Power Station is a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station, which is located on the site of a former coal-fired power station, close to the villages of Carrington and Partington in the Greater Manchester Area.

Our waste & environmental manager, Trudie Williams, provided a tailored solution to meet company objectives. The assessment included initial site audits and analysis of all waste streams on site. Floorbrite’s aims were to reduce waste removal costs, encourage 100% recycling, achieve zero waste to landfill, and to recover energy from waste

Solutions implemented include the introduction of an external compost unit for green waste, control systems to reduce production of hazardous waste, implementation of internal feeder waste containers, replacement of skips, introduction of specialised waste receptacles such as confidential waste, coffins for Flo-Tubes, WEEE waste crates and recommendations around placement on site to reduce site risks, amendment to collection frequencies, provision and installation of signage, provision of internal recycling containers, tailored training for all site staff concerning new procedures, procurement and negotiation of all new waste contractors, introduction of new delivery, collection and escort protocol procedures on site, introduction of food caddies in canteens areas which are then collected weekly and sent to an anaerobic digestion plant to produce biogas and bio fertiliser. 

Following a thorough chemical analysis of the Sludge based waste produced within the pumping station, we were able to re-classify the EWC Waste Code and divert to land spreading, which ensured further disposal cost savings and provided a sustainable solution. We have increased paper waste removed for shredding and recycling, externally we have increased the segregation of all other waste including wood, metal and hazardous waste, ensuring that each waste stream had a sustainable collection and disposal method. Re organisation and disposal of previous builder’s project waste which was left on site following the initial build project

In achieving zero to landfill, with the fantastic support and effort by all members of the team, since September 2016 to the April 2020, Carrington Power Station ESB diverted 1202.78 tonnes of waste from landfill, saved 20,447 trees from destruction and the equivalent to 14,5521 kg of Co2. With the total of 867.87 ton of waste recovered from the start of the project until April 2020. They have also seen an overall reduction in waste generated by 26%.  

Floorbrite’s collaboration has reduced skip collections per annum from 104 to 66 and increased recycling to 70%. and still increasing.

The local community have benefitted from a reduction in traffic by utilising local disposal stations. Carrington Power Station ESB have benefited from cost saving and will benefit from further investment and savings.

The story does not stop with what Floorbrite has achieved so far. We have inspired Carrington Power Station ESB to look at additional recycling innovations. The project in 2019-20 was introduced to reduce single use plastic milk bottles on site with the introduction of cooling vending, this has removed over 300 large plastic milk containers, per week from site and further reduced the amount of waste considerably.

Nina Wyers is marketing director at The Floorbrite Group. Floorbrite is an International green world ambassador and award winner. Since 2015, Floorbrite has entered the The Green Organisation’s prestigious Green Apple Awards and consequently won each year since, with presentations at The Houses of Parliament.
For more information visit www.floorbrite.co.uk