Miramar-based Waxie Sanitary Supply, one of the nation's best-known producers and distributors of bathroom and kitchen paper and cleaning products, has gone green.
In keeping with its green program, chemicals used for cleaning at Waxie are categorized from the least to the most caustic substances.
Keith Schneringer, Waxie marketing manager, said when Waxie must deal with toxic chemicals, whatever is used to clean up those chemicals is properly disposed of as well.
"There are a number of options on how to deal with a product that reacts a certain way with the environment," Schneringer said.
Cleansers may be recycled depending on their toxicity, and cleaning tools and equipment may be sterilized for easy re-use rather than disposal.
Schneringer said the latest microfiber cleaning cloths not only may be reused, they actually trap more dirt and are up to 30 times stronger than the more conventional variety.
"Green cleaning is about more than just green chemicals," the company writes in promotional materials. "A true green cleaning program also has appropriate equipment, tools, disposables, accessories and, perhaps most importantly, training on procedures."
Waxie, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, along with other green organizations, also provides green training and consultation to the companies it serves.
For anyone who has had to empty a vacuum cleaner bag, Waxie provides filtration systems that enable the user to get more dirt out of a rug than used to be possible.
Even before entering a building, people at Waxie's client firms will find themselves stepping on entryway matting design to trap water and mud before it can be tracked inside.
"This extends the time between a floor's cleaning cycles," Schneringer said.
As a huge provider of paper products, it comes as little surprise that Waxie is at the center of a huge paper and cardboard recycling program within its own offices. Schneringer, who has worked for Waxie since 1990, said the firm also has containers for recycling such items as light bulbs and batteries that are hazardous because of their mercury content.
"We have recycling containers in our break rooms and elsewhere, and our longstanding customers bring back our palates to us so they are not thrown away and can be re-used," Schneringer said. "We also close the circle by offering products that have a high percentage of recycled material."
Paper, cardboard and plastic bottles may be the best known recyclables, but Waxie is transforming yard and food waste into biodegradable trashcan liners. Waxie also has been providing waterless urinals, for which a $400 San Diego County Water Authority voucher will cover virtually the system's entire cost.
"We can also get water broom vouchers. These only use two gallons a minute, compared to eight to 16 gallons per minute for a hose," Schneringer continued.
Waxie employs 10 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professionals and has an established Green Partner Support Program. It is also a member of Green Seal, an independent, nonprofit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment by identifying and promoting products and services that cause less toxic pollution and waste, conserve resources and habitats, and minimize global warming and ozone depletion.
The company also has garnered Green Label Certification from the Carpet and Rug Institute. The Green Label certification is for carpet, cushion, adhesives and vacuum cleaners. To qualify, vacuum cleaners must go through a stringent testing process that measures three key performance factors: soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance assessment.
Waxie provides more than 4,500 items, including leading national brands, and hundreds of Waxie brand products, including chemicals, consumables, equipment and accessories. Customers represent many different business sectors including health care, commercial, food service, military, contract cleaners, hospitality, education, industrial and retail.