When beginning a green cleaning program, find many administrators and custodial workers first evaluate the cleaning chemicals used in the facility, pilule determining how many and which specifically can be eliminated or replaced with green chemical alternatives. This was not the case at Boston University. Instead, the first step this university took was to address the sustainability of the equipment used for cleaning by transferring from traditional floorcare equipment used for stripping floors—which typically requires considerable amounts of powerful and potentially harmful chemicals—to chemical-free floor cleaning systems. The process eliminated the chemicals needed for stripping, and according to university administrators, reduced cleaning times as well.

The next step in the initiative did address cleaning chemicals. With so many buildings and such a large cleaning staff, the university created “cleaning chemical command centers” to reduce chemical use by more precisely controlling the amounts and types of chemicals being used and where, while also minimizing waste. The command centers were designed to dilute chemicals per manufacturer’s instructions, which is typically a key part of green cleaning program. Having this dilution process centrally located and controlled also helped lower the chances of chemical-related injuries.

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