Crothall Leads Industry in "Green" Laundry Practices

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Millions of gallons of water, thousands of megawatts of electricity, harsh chemicals for detergents and cleaners, and tons of rubbish pass through hospital laundries every year. Yet most environmental measures for laundries are limited to low-consumption washers and hot water reclamation. In the latest edition of Celebrations magazine, Crothall Services Group reveals new initiatives that address every stage of the laundry cycle, from new fabric weaves to better waste management, to propose ambitious solutions for green laundry processes.

simple enough to share across the industry for the benefit of everyone.

Hospital laundry facilities are the most promising sector for reducing consumption and lowering expenses without affecting patient care.

Millions of gallons of water, thousands of megawatts of electricity, and tons of rubbish pass through hospital laundries every year, with few "green" initiatives to better manage resources. In the latest edition of Celebrations magazine, Crothall Services Group reveals its initiatives to provide solutions for ambitious green laundry processes, from new fabric technologies and efficient water utilization to "dumpster diving" to improve waste management.

Laundry operations may not leap out as environmental magnets, siphoning resources, but the annual effects for an average hospital are staggering:

  •     About 120 million gallons of water consumed
  •     100 tons of plastic trash created
  •     Thousands of tons of discarded linens

Conventional green initiatives have been limited to reducing water use with tunnel washers and cutting electricity by using heated wastewater to pre-warm wash water. Crothall Services Group has invested in broader research into every aspect of the laundry cycle to identify new areas to save resources.

"My goal is to continue to develop revolutionary solutions," said Crothall senior vice president Michael Bailey, "simple enough to share across the industry for the benefit of everyone."

The August issue of Celebrations covers the most promising green methods in its feature story, "How to Get Your Linens Their 'Greenest.'" Three processes have already been implemented at different facilities managed by Crothall with great success:

  •     Reusing rinse water as the initial wash water for the next load of laundry; in conjunction with low-consumption tunnel washers, this lowers water use to less than a gallon per pound of laundry.
  •     Having a dedicated "dumpster diver" who culls trash for a few hours a day to check for accidentally discarded linen - saving $1.5 million at just one facility in a year.
  •     Introducing reusable or recyclable soiled linen collection bags, which cuts out 90 tons of plastic garbage a year.

The Celebrations cover story also highlights continuing research areas:

  •     Evolving weaving technologies for fabrics to increase linen lifetimes by 20%
  •     Sterile processing of surgical linens, saving over $1 million (and 1500 tons of waste)
  •     Mandating phosphate-free and NPE-free detergents and cleaners in all Crothall facilities

The August Celebrations also explores other hospital issues, including running the second in a three-part series on top hospital administrator concerns and giving an overview of patient transportation enhanced services. An archive of Crothall's publication is available on their website at http://crothall.com/celebrations/.

About Crothall Services Group
Headquartered in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Crothall Services Group is the highest quality provider of comprehensive facility and support services to healthcare customers. Founded in 1991 and acquired in 2001 by global hospitality services leader Compass Group, PLC, the company is responsible for cleaning and maintaining more than 200 million square feet daily. To learn more about the company and its services, contact Crothall at 800-447-4476 or online at http://www.crothall.com.

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Tim Polizzi
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