Green Cleaning Program Training for San Francisco House Cleaning Services

SFE article for April newsletter

On March 25th, the San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) conducted a presentation for La Colectiva, a collective of women who provide house cleaning services throughout the City. SFE staff presented in Spanish during one of La Colectiva’s weekly meetings in the Mission district, which was attended by 40-50 women. La Colectiva prides itself on providing eco-friendly cleaning. Homemade recipes, highlighted in the Department’s Easy and Safe Cleaning factsheet, are very popular with the women of the collective.

SFE has trained more than 300 custodians on green cleaning products and practices as part of their Custodial Green Cleaning program. This expertise was used to highlight tips and techniques for green cleaning. The presentation motivated them to continue using their homemade products and encouraged them to adopt some of the green cleaning practices highlighted in the multi lingual videos shown to them. The modules covered included dusting and polishing, mopping, kitchen and restroom cleaning. The women were given various Green Cleaning resources like factsheets and flashcards they could take with them on the job.

After the presentation, the Department staff answered questions about products and tools, and learned more about health concerns and other unique issues the women face in their work. A big constraint the women face is using their clients’ products, which are not always green products. Future presentations will include tips to educate their family, friends and clients.

In the last year, SFE has honored many companies who successfully completed the Custodial Green Cleaning pilot program. Theirs is the first Green Business program in the nation focused on protecting custodial worker health by providing live hands on training and switching from harmful cleaning products to greener products and methods.

If you are a custodial/janitorial company interested in becoming a Green Business, please register and apply here, or call (415) 355-3700

To learn more about La Colectiva, please visit

If you are interested in learning more, call (415)-355-3700.


Triple Regional P2 Roundtable


Join the pollution prevention colleagues from the Mississippi River basin for a multi-regional roundtable that includes:

  • Training
  • Sharing of program innovations
  • Implementations and results of P2 projects
  • Networking with other P2 professionals as well as businesses interested in sustainability
  • Inspiration to lead and continuously improve your effective technical assistance program

The meeting will be held on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a leader in sustainability and business assistance in St. Louis. Training includes pollution prevention assessments for Craft Breweries – the fastest growing segment of food processing and Lean & Green Training for businesses.

This event is presented by the TRIPLE REGIONAL P2 ROUNDTABLE hosted by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR), Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC), and Zero Waste Network. Register by March 27.

For more information:

Posted: March 5, 2015

Las Vegas Resorts Lead Zero Waste Efforts in Nevada

LAS VEGAS – MGM Resorts International was recognized today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its outstanding efforts in food recovery.

The entertainment and hospitality company received two national Food Recovery Challenge awards for reducing food waste and, in the process, conserving natural resources.

“MGM’s zero waste leadership has turned mountains of food scraps into compost to help fight waste and climate change,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

MGM Resorts and MGM Grand Las Vegas are two of the 32 recipients who received the 2014 Food Recovery Challenge Award, and the only recipients in Nevada. The award was given for achieving the highest percentage of potentially wasted food diversion and prevention.

Senator Harry Reid’s office also issued a certificate of recognition to the company for leading food recovery efforts in Nevada. Officials from the EPA and Sen. Reid’s office presented these honors to MGM Resorts representatives in a ceremony at ARIA Resort & Casino. A behind-the-scenes tour of the resort’s food recovery program was also given. Read more

New Green Chemistry Guide Available for Download

The City of Los Angeles and NPPR announce the availability of the Green Chemistry Guide collaborated on by renowned university professors, industry professionals and the City of Los Angeles’s engineers. This manual provides state agencies and technical assistance providers with tools and resources to better serve their clients who are looking for information and to support greening their operations, supply chains, processes, and products. WSPPN will announce a series of webinars to begin in May that will cover the content of the manual chapter-by-chapter.

Download Manual

Counting the Cost of Storm Water Pollution

By Patrick Bryan

Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District

Patrick discusses the history of storm water regulation in California with a focus on the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District’s municipal storm water basins.  Part 2 will discuss the 2015 changes to California’s storm water regulations and what that means to businesses throughout the state.  WSPPN news letter artical Part 1 (with Photos)

EPA Awards Six California and Nevada School Districts $435,000 for Eighteen Cleaner School Buses

Posted: February 10, 2015

Awards $3 Million to Reduce Emissions from 76 School Bus Fleets Nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO –Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding five California School Districts $325,000 and one Nevada School District $110,000 to replace eighteen older diesel school buses with new, clean buses that are more than 90 percent cleaner.  Nationwide, 76 recipients will receive rebates through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to replace 210 school buses.

Nevada’s recipient, the Washoe County School District, will replace five school buses.  California recipients will replace four buses in the Town Ride, Inc. of Arcadia Unified School District;  two buses for the Culver City Unified School District, one bus for the Enterprise Elementary School District in Redding, Calif., five buses for the Clovis Unified School District, and one bus for the Southern Humboldt Unified School District in Miranda, Calif. Read more

EPA, States and Automotive Industry to Reduce Copper in Motor Vehicle Brake Pads

Jan. 21, 2015

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the automotive industry and the states signed an agreement to reduce the use of copper and other materials in motor vehicle brake pads. The Copper-Free Brake Initiative calls for cutting copper in brake pads to less than 5 percent by 2021 and 0.5 percent by 2025. This voluntary initiative also calls for cutting the amount of mercury, lead, cadmium, asbestiform fibers and chromium-6 salts in motor vehicle brake pads. These steps will decrease runoff of these materials from roads into the nation’s streams, rivers and lakes, where these materials can harm fish, amphibians and plants.

By the Numbers

California and Washington have already passed requirements to reduce these materials in brake pads. Prior to their enactment, dust from vehicular braking released an estimated 1.3 million pounds of copper into California’s environment in 2010 and about 250,000 pounds into Washington’s environment in 2011. Estimates for California show copper in urban runoff down as much as 61 percent thanks to changes in brake pad composition.

What They Said

“EPA is proud to partner with the automotive industry and the states to reduce the use of copper in motor vehicle brake pads, which means less of this material running off our roads and into our nation’s waterways,” said Stan Meiburg, acting deputy administrator for EPA. “The environment and public health in our country will benefit from this type of collaboration between the public and private sector.” Read more

AF tests first all-electric vehicle fleet in California

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials unveiled the Department of Defense’s first non-tactical vehicle fleet composed entirely of plug-in electric vehicles, Nov. 14, at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

The rollout of the 42-vehicle fleet marks a milestone in the DOD’s demonstration of emerging technology and the vehicles will serve as a resource to the electrical grid when they’re not being driven.

“Everything we do to fly, fight and win requires energy, whether it’s aviation fuel for our aircraft or power to run the bases that support them,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “This vehicle-to-grid pilot is a great example of how Airmen are driving the Air Force forward and finding new and innovative ways to make every dollar count.”

The PEV fleet includes both electric and hybrid vehicles ranging from sedans to trucks and a 12-passenger van. The vehicles have the capability to direct power both to and from the electrical grid when they’re not being driven, known as vehicle-to-grid technology. Unique charging stations have been installed on Los Angeles AFB to support the vehicles’ V2G capability. Read more

EPA Recognizes Outstanding Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise Program Participants

Posted: January 28, 2015

Food Recovery Challenge Participants Alone Diverted 370,000 Tons of Wasted Food from Landfills

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the accomplishments of organizations and businesses participating in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise program for reducing their climate footprint, improving efficiency, helping communities and achieving cost savings through waste reduction. These programs save money, protect the environment and feed the hungry.

“In 2013, EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge participants diverted more than 370,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators. Of this total, more than 36,000 tons of food was donated to feed people in need, which equates to nearly 56 million meals,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “I commend the efforts of our award winners and encourage others to follow their lead by joining the Food Recovery Challenge. These leaders demonstrate that protecting the environment, saving money and feeding the hungry can go hand in hand.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that wasted food costs America more than $165 billion annually and that the average family of four throws away $1,600 of food each year. The Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers, through innovation and hard work, have greatly reduced wasted food. Food pantries, food rescue programs, local food banks, soup kitchens and shelters are benefiting from donations of wholesome and nutritious food — helping feed people, not landfills.

EPA presented 23 awards to Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers in two categories: data-driven and narrative. The data-driven award recipients achieved the highest percentage of wasted food diversion and prevention. The narrative award winners excelled in areas of source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach, and endorsement. Read more

Paint, Body & Equipment Specialists Set Conference for May 13-15

Posted: January 28, 2015

Source: BodyShop Business

The Paint, Body & Equipment Specialists (PBES) segment of the Auto Care Association will be holding its annual conference May 13-15 in San Antonio, Texas at the Hyatt Regency (on the Riverwalk).

“The conference committee has put together a great list of speakers dedicated to ‘Keeping Pace with Change,’ as our industry continues to evolve at such a rapid pace,” said PBES Chairman Travis Trott. “We are confident that these folks will help each attendee bring back valuable insights to their own operations.”

PBES will be releasing more information soon, including the full program brochure.

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