Team Clean, Inc.Team Clean, Inc.

Maximizing Your Curb Appeal

How many chances do you get to make a first impression?

Yes, it’s a trick question.  Are you, or your company, ready to welcome new residents, employees, and clients?

A first impression promotes your investment, reveals your decisions and shows your pride.  If guests arrive at your office, apartment complex or other facility, and see unkempt grounds or dying plants, they immediately lower their expectations.  These negative assumptions, like judging a book by its cover, can affect occupancy rates, and ultimately sales.

A property manager can assess the curb appeal of a building or campus and essentially work from the ground up to refresh the property.

First step: Contact a lawn maintenance company.

Local and national “landscape management” companies provide the ideal services to help create a positive image on your grounds.  Determine the schedule, services, and fees that accommodate the size of the property.  When you find a company that provides great results, consider contracting them for additional properties.

Second step: Look for a maintenance plan that includes:

Consultations – determine frequency of landscaping service and treatment options.

Pre-emergent herbicides – apply to keep weeds and crabgrass away with this preventative treatment.

Fertilizing – schedule to add nutrients to the soil and flower beds and encourage a greener lawn.

Irrigation – keep your investment from drying out with a timed sprinkler system and keep mulch fresh in flower beds to retain moisture.

Inspections – protect the lawn, shrubs, flowers, and trees from insects and other diseases

Seasonal clean-up – prune and trim trees and shrubs, weed and re-mulch flower beds, rake and remove debris.

Third Step: Maximize your real estate.

Rich green grass and lush trees welcome visitors to your property.  Encourage them to stay with essential add-ons that enhance your landscaping plan.

Apartment complexes and townhome communities may be designed with park-like common areas or tree-lined walkways.  Consider enhancing the property and resident satisfaction by staging social areas, a community garden or quiet retreats. Property managers will see the immediate results of adding extra elements that appeal to realtors and potential new tenants too.

 Outdoor socializing – add benches, tables, and umbrellas for residents to eat outside or visit with friends and family.

Zen garden – create a peaceful sanctuary with a waterfall, koi pond or rock garden.

Small details – hang windchimes or flowering plants or add large decorative pots with herbs or flowers to keep insects away or attract butterflies.

Lighting – install solar-powered lights on walkways for guests to enjoy the landscaping into the evening.

Gardening – Assign a small plot of land for residents to maintain a garden to promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint.

Business complexes can also utilize enhanced grounds:

Outdoor offices – this trend continues to rise as teams venture outside (for some fresh air) for a change of scenery and team building opportunities.

Welcoming guests – invite guests to relax on a bench before an appointment or meet with them at an outdoor table in the shade.

Vendors – utilize the outdoor space for hosting special events like “Food Truck Friday,” ping pong, washers or horseshoes tournaments.

Designing specialized outdoor spaces encourages residents or workers to interact.  The campus environment builds a sense of community and promotes longevity.

Lay the groundwork to promote your business, by improving your curb appeal today.

I’M MELTING, MELTING… Dealing with Frozen Pipes

This winter is far from over, but between the Bomb Cyclone and record-setting low temperatures, things have gotten very, very cold.

 

Those subzero temperatures could return at any time. And you can either wish that you’d properly prepared your properties to deal with the freeze last fall, or do something about it now while you have a lull between blizzards. We checked with the American Red Cross about the best ways to deal with one of the most destructive problems in severe weather: frozen pipes.  Here’s what they told us:

 

Water is unique in the way that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever’s containing the water, including metal or plastic pipes. It doesn’t matter how strong the container is; expanding water can cause pipes to break.

The most frequent freezing takes place when exposed pipes are in:

Outdoor areas during bitter cold, as with water sprinkler lines, outdoor hose bibs and swimming pool supply lines.

 

Unheated interior areas like crawl spaces, basements, attics, and garages.

 

Uninsulated or under-insulated walls.

 

Keeping Pipes From Freezing

 

In late fall, and before the first snowfall:

 

Drain both the water sprinkler’s and the swimming pool’s water supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Adding antifreeze to these lines can be dangerous, and is not recommended.

Drain, and store all outdoor hoses. Close any inside valves attached to hose bibs, and open up the outside hose bibs for draining. Leave the outside valve open so the pipe won’t break when the water expands.

 

Insulate crawl spaces, basements, and attics.

 

Check for other areas where water lines are in unheated areas. Look under bathroom and kitchen cabinets, and in garages. All of these water pipes in these areas will need insulation.

 

Think about installing specific insulation products, like pipe sleeves or heat cable. Using newspapers as a wrap can provide some degree of protection for exposed pipes in locations that don’t normally endure subzero temperatures.

 

If practical, move exposed pipes indoors for the most protection.

 

Easing the Freezing

 

Open cabinet doors in the bathroom and the kitchen to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Move cleaners and household chemicals out of children’s reach.

 

When the weather is severely cold, open the faucet served by the exposed pipes and let the cold water drip. Running even a trickle of water through a pipe helps prevent pipes from freezing.

 

Set the thermostat and then leave it alone. Use the same temperature setting around the clock. This is worth a slightly higher heating bill because it can prevent a very expensive repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

 

Going away during the winter? Leave the heat on, but don’t set your thermostat for lower than 55° F.

 

Thawing Your Frozen Pipes

 

If your faucet works, but only at a trickle, that could indicate a frozen pipe. You’ll usually find frozen pipes against exterior walls. Other likely places for frozen pipes include the foundation, where the water supply enters your home, and exterior walls.

 

Keep the water running. As the melting begins, some drips of water will start coming through the faucet. Running water will speed up the melting process.

 

Heat up those pipes, but safely. Wrap an electric heating pad around the pipe, or use a portable space heater or a hairdryer. Another effective wrap option would be towels plucked from a tub of boiling water. No open flames, please. That means you, charcoal stove. No blowtorches, heaters that use kerosene or propane, or any other open flame device.

 

Apply heat to the pipes until full water pressure is back to normal. If the ice keeps winning the battle and refuses to melt, call a professional plumber.

 

Make sure all the other faucets are functioning properly. When one pipe freezes, others will, too.

 

 

Founded in 1983, Team Clean, Inc. is a commercial janitorial services company in Philadelphia. Due mainly to the service focus and vision of its founder/president/CEO—Donna L. Allie, PhD.—the company enjoyed huge growth. By 1999, it was the fourth-largest woman-owned business in Philadelphia, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center identified it as one of the fastest-growing small businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area.

HOW TO MAINTAIN A FLU-FREE FACILITY: New Electrostatic Cleaning Tech and a Little Elbow Grease

Flu season used to peak between late November and early March. No longer. Some bugs, like MRSA, became superbugs. Disruptive fluctuations in the weather carry bacteria to new and unexpected places. And flu season continues to creep into every season.

Although MRSA is still predominantly related to exposures in hospital or healthcare settings, infections outside those settings are increasing. Schools, arenas, warehouses, restaurants; wherever you find groups people, you can likely find the virus.

MRSA travels by direct skin-to-skin contact or is spread by contact with dirty objects or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else’s infection. Practicing both good personal hygiene and regularly disinfecting surfaces and shared items are important practices for preventing the spread of MRSA.

Here’s a checklist of what you could do at your facility to help prevent the spread of toxic bacteria:

· Emphasize health protection and worker safety in the workplace

· Make sure that supplies for good hygiene are always available, encouraging workers to practice good hygiene

· Confirm that routine housekeeping tasks in the workplace are being completed

· Be sure that equipment and surfaces suspected of being contaminated are cleaned with detergent-based cleaners or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectants

· Encourage workers to get early treatment for possible infections

To really put the hurt on those pesky superbugs, Philadelphia’s premier corporate cleaning company Team Clean has armed themselves with the very latest in cleanup technology, a system designed to fight flu, MRSA, and other superbugs by attacking the virus as it cleans your workplace. The Clorox® Total 360® System is a revolutionary new surface treatment system that uses electrostatic technology to provide unbeatable coverage.

“The innovative system applies an electrostatic charge to the Clorox disinfecting or sanitizing solution, delivering a powerful flow of charged particles that are attracted to surfaces with a force stronger than gravity,” explains Kristina Vannoni, Associate Director of Marketing, Clorox Professional Products Company. “It covers up to 18,000 square feet per hour, providing superior surface coverage up to four times faster and using up to 65 percent less product compared with conventional trigger sprayers per square foot.”

Team Clean founder and CEO Donna Allie was impressed enough to switch all of her janitorial teams exclusively to the Clorox® Total 360® system. “Schools and similar institutions make up a large part of our business. The 360 represents a major breakthrough in the fight against illness-causing germs, helping our cleaning professionals prevent and contain outbreaks and keeping facilities healthier during cold and flu season and beyond.”

Over the past four decades, Team Clean’s experience and expertise have successfully serviced companies and organizations requiring: General office cleaning; Government offices and facilities; the Education sector; Events and Sporting venues, including stadiums and convention halls; and services for industrial plants and warehouse facilities.

Lower Bills with Efficient Cleaning Equipment

Of course, you have to clean your home. But the amount of resources you use for house cleaning can balloon if you’re not careful.  Team Clean, the Philadelphia-based janitorial service, points out that your automatic dishwasher likely uses between three and fifteen gallons per load of dishes. Your washing machine takes 16-40 gallons for every load of dirty clothes. To use them in an environmentally friendly manner to reduce the amount of water, energy and other resources being used requires efficiency, which in turn requires a plan.

The Plan

Step One would be listing your cleaning chores that use resources, including water and energy used by appliances and water used for mopping floors. Where are time, energy, water or other resources being wasted? And can you reduce the waste with more efficient cleaning?

The Prep

The goal here is to not intentionally waste your time or resources. So before any cleaning task is undertaken, set yourself up in a cleared area, without the clutter that can slow things down, and with the tools you’ll need at hand (that includes buckets, cleaning products, squeegees, rags and so on).

The Fine Print

With cleaning products, the label is your best friend. It has the instructions on how much to use for the best results.  Following them will help prevent wasting the product or getting less than the cleaning power you need.

Step By Step

To take your cleaning seriously, plan your cleaning progress methodically. If you’re wet-mopping a floor, plan your route so you don’t cross your own path and mop over where you just mopped, wasting water. You’ll use less cleaning materials if you clean methodically instead of impulsively.

Cleaning Ideas That Save Resources

Kitchen: Fun Fact: Dishwashers use less water and energy than you do when you hand-wash a load of tableware. So the green thing to do here is to run a dishwasher only when it’s full. If your washer has an air-dry feature, use it and save the energy needed to heat your dishes dry. And please, just scrape the plates and put them in the washer. Pre-washing your dirty dishes only wastes time and a great deal of water.

Laundry: Take a little longer to stare at your washing machine to figure out what green options came with it. Make sure you’re selecting the right load size—running a full “Heavy Load” cycle for three socks and a pillowcase wastes detergent, water, time and electricity. Some clothes, like jeans and good shirts, can benefit from cold-water washing, which also saves energy. Use only the manufacturer’s suggested amount of laundry detergent; more won’t get your clothes cleaner.  Once your things are out of the washer, hang-dry them if you can.

Floors:  The more often you sweep up, the less mopping you’ll have to do. And when you do finally mop, the already-cleaner floor won’t require excessive amounts of detergent or water.

For countertops: Brush crumbs and other table debris off your kitchen surfaces before you spray or wipe them. You won’t need as many towels or rags to get the surfaces clean. So you won’t have to do as much laundry, and you won’t need to buy more paper towels as frequently.

Founded in 1983, Team Clean, Inc. is a commercial janitorial services company in Philadelphia. Due mainly to the service focus and vision of its founder/president/CEO—Donna L. Allie, PhD.—the company enjoyed huge growth. By 1999, it was the fourth-largest woman-owned business in Philadelphia, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center identified it as one of the fastest-growing small businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Cleaning Ice Melt

It’s another brutal winter, one where unusually large snowfalls are blanketing the country. And that means hardwood floors will not only get wet (which they shouldn’t), but the rain and snow that’s tracked in on them will likely be mixed with salt or ice melt, leaving streaks and puddles on your floors.  Here’s how to keep them clean and protected during this snowy, rainy, icy winter:

Be Prepared.

Keep an abundance of rags, old towels, and other clean wiper-uppers near your doors to use immediately. The faster you clean the floor up, the cleaner you’ll get it—don’t give the moisture and chemicals time to soak into the wood.  Keep a broom or vacuum handy to sweep away granules of salt or ice melt that could scratch your floors’ surfaces. And, if you can, lay down mats on every walking surface to keep the moisture from touching your floors at all, as well as a large, absorbent mat by the front door for shoes.

 

One More Tip: Consider spreading kitty litter on your sidewalks and steps instead of salt or ice melt. While it won’t melt snow or ice, it will vastly improve your visitors’ traction while being safer for your floors.

 

Know Your Chemicals

Most ice melt products use essentially the same calcium chloride (i.e. salt)-based recipe, with variations and blends that can also include potassium chloride, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride and urea. The makeup of most ice melt products is based on calcium chloride because (a) it melts snow and ice effectively and (b) it’s cheap.

One More Tip: The downside with salt is its high pH levels, pretty much the same levels you’ll find in, say, floor strippers. These pH levels break down your floor’s finish, leaving the wood underneath defenseless. Immediate cleaning action is recommended.

Wiping Out the White

Once the salt starts breaking down your hardwood floor’s finish and the moisture dries, you’ll note how it leaves a white residue or film on the floor. That’s the alkaline salt residue, which should be neutralized.  Dampen a soft cloth with warm water and gently wipe in a circular motion. After the floor has dried, if there’s still a white residue, dilute one cup of white vinegar in one gallon of warm water, and wipe the area, again with a circular motion. Buff-dry the spot immediately.

One More Tip: There’s most likely a commercial floor cleaner made specifically for your home’s floors. Determine what that cleaner is and add it to your anti-snow arsenal before the next blizzard hits.

 

Founded in 1983, Team Clean, Inc. is a commercial janitorial services company in Philadelphia. Due mainly to the service focus and vision of its founder/president/CEO—Donna L. Allie, PhD.—the company enjoyed huge growth during its first two decades. By 1999, it was the fourth-largest woman-owned business in Philadelphia, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center identified it as one of the fastest-growing small businesses in that metropolitan area.

Is Your House Making You Sick?

Cold and flu season is hitting hard this winter, and your challenge is twofold: First, making sure that cleaning your house isn’t making you sick.  Second, if you’re feeling ill, figuring out if your symptoms originated from the flu or from your house.

 

After all, many of the symptoms of the flu—coughing, sneezing, fatigue, congestion, runny nose, sometimes a fever—can also be the result of allergies from dust being kicked up or commercial cleaners being used improperly.

 

But yes, your indoor environment and its microscopic inhabitants could be making you sick. Here’s where they’re hiding:

 

1. Heating and Cooling Systems

 

Problem: When your HVAC system cools your home, it also leaves traces of water in the ducts, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. That microbial growth can trigger respiratory issues like headaches and coughing.

Solution: Stay on top of your monthly air filter replacements. Hire professional cleaners to clean out your air ducts every couple of years, and ask for their suggestions for your heater’s cleanest and most efficient operation.

 

2. Indoor Leaks

Problem: You can’t see the leaks in your HVAC system that are causing mold growth in your home, and that’s bad news for anyone in your household susceptible to asthma and allergy-based breathing problems.

Solution: Moisture is your enemy. Think dry, dry, dry. Dry closets, dry pipes, dry basements, dry attics. Clean and dry where any moisture, even a little drop, has accumulated. Remember, you’re only seeing, and cleaning, surfaces; what’s not visible can make things even worse. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask a professional. A good plumber or roofer has been through this situation many times.

 

3. Furniture

Problem: The comfy upholstered chair you’ve had for decades. That big pillow your sister gave you when you bought what became your kid’s go-to TV couch. The only mattress you know you can sleep on. These are a few of your favorite things. Especially if you’re a dust mite. Microscopic dust mites see us humans as large, soft bags that provide them with warmth and humidity. Dust mites live everywhere people live. Most people can safely ignore them, but each dust mite is a little time bomb for someone with asthma or allergies, triggering strong, debilitating reactions.

 

Solution: Cycle your linens every week. Sheets and towels should be washed in the hottest possible water, and thoroughly dried. Give furniture, throw pillows, carpeting and curtains a weekly vacuuming and dusting. If your household includes someone who’s sensitive to dust mites, look into specialty mattress and pillow covers specifically designed to keep dust mites out.

 

4. The Bathroom

 

Problem: If an older mattress is like Times Square for dust mites, the bath mat in front of your shower is Hawaii.  Bath mats provide a warm, wet breeding ground for bacteria, mold and dust mites. When your shower’s over and you step on that bathmat, you’ll be drying yourself off while standing on dust mites. Oops.

Solution: First, towel off while you’re still standing in the tub or shower. (Slippers might come in handy here.)  Don’t sprinkle cornstarch on yourself—dust mites love the stuff.  And make sure washcloths, towels and bathmats get nice hot baths of their own in your washer, followed by a thorough drying, at least once a week.

5. The Refrigerator

Problem: Frost-free refrigerators have an electric coil in each freezer that melts frost every four hours. The melted water drips into a pan and then evaporates, thanks to warm air from the refrigerator’s compressor. But if that pan is filled with dust, your refrigerator will blow that dust into your home.

Newer refrigerators may not have a tray, but the coils on the back of the machine need to be dusted off regularly. Shut off the refrigerator’s power before undertaking this, and be sure to wear gloves to avoid injury from the sharp edges of the coils.

Solution: Give your refrigerator a regular cleaning, along with the wall and floor behind the refrigerator. Check your manufacturer’s instruction manual to determine whether there is a tray and to learn the best cleaning methods.

 

6. The Vacuum Cleaner

Problem: We all need a vacuum cleaner to suck up the allergens.  But your vacuum could be spewing them all back into the air. The best vacuums have HEPA filters (for High-Efficiency Particulate Air). These filter more than 99 percent of the particulates in the air. But beware of the “HEPA-like” filter, which doesn’t do much more than release particles into the air without filtering.

Solution: Double-check your vacuum for a HEPA filter. Make sure your cleaning service uses a HEPA-filter vacuum, as well, so your home isn’t being contaminated from allergens in previous houses.

7. Cleaning Products

Problem: Conventional cleaning products, like the ones you’ve been buying for years, may cause eye irritation, headaches, breathing problems, and at worst, be carcinogenic.  Many people clean with them, but they don’t take precautions against the harmful effects of commercial cleaning products.

Team Clean, the Philadelphia-based janitorial service, offers Green Clean solutions, which employ green cleaning best practices, including the use of safer and Earth-friendlier cleaning products.

Solution: Clean glass with a mixture of water and vinegar. Toss your abrasive scrubbing product and use baking soda instead. Soap and water can work just as well as a commercial cleaner for most surfaces. Alternatively, look for cleaning products marked “green” and be careful not to confuse “natural” products for those that are safer to use.

 

 

 

Founded in 1983, Team Clean, Inc. is a commercial janitorial services company in Philadelphia. Due mainly to the service focus and vision of its founder/president/CEO—Donna L. Allie, PhD.—the company enjoyed huge growth during its first two decades. By 1999, it was the fourth-largest woman-owned business in Philadelphia, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center identified it as one of the fastest-growing small businesses in that metropolitan area.

Now, Team Clean Combats the Flu As They Clean

Philadelphia’s premier cleaning company, Team Clean, tackles office buildings, stadiums and national treasures.  And now, they’re armed with the very latest in cleanup technology, a system that attacks the flu as it cleans your space.

Say hello to the Clorox® Total 360® System, a revolutionary new surface treatment system that uses electrostatic technology to provide superior coverage. “The innovative system applies an electrostatic charge to the Clorox disinfecting or sanitizing solution, delivering a powerful flow of charged particles that are attracted to surfaces with a force stronger than gravity,” explains Kristina Vannoni, Associate Director of Marketing, Clorox Professional Products Company. “It covers up to 18,000 square feet per hour, providing superior surface coverage up to four times faster and using up to 65 percent less product compared with conventional trigger sprayers per square foot.”

The professional cleaning industry voted the Clorox Total 360 System the 2017 ISSA Innovation of the Year and named it the Visitors’ Choice Award winner.

Team Clean founder and CEO Donna Allie was impressed enough to switch all of her janitorial teams exclusively to the Clorox Total 360 system. “Schools and similar institutions make up a large part of our business. The 360 represents a major breakthrough in the fight against illness-causing germs, helping our cleaning professionals prevent and contain outbreaks and keeping facilities healthier during cold and flu season and beyond.

“Illness and absenteeism can have a huge impact on businesses,” notes Ms. Allie. “We do everything we can to help prevent the spread of infectious germs. The Clorox Total 360 System lets us do it in less time and with less product so we can provide efficient, comprehensive surface treatment that delivers an even cleaner, healthier environment for our clients.”

 

Over the past four decades, Team Clean’s experience and expertise have successfully serviced companies and organizations requiring: General office cleaning; Government offices and facilities; the Education sector; Events and Sporting venues, including stadiums and convention halls; and services for industrial plants and warehouse facilities.

Social Responsibility: Doing Business For Good

Vendor A and Vendor B have both made their pitches, and now it’s up to you. Both offered very similar products at very similar prices.  But Vendor A has been cited numerous times for illegal dumping of waste and other transgressions, while Vendor B has a clean record and is an active member of a city-wide Zero Waste initiative.

In other words, one vendor is taking its social responsibility seriously, and the other is not. With everything else being equal, which vendor do you choose?

Research has found that shoppers, who have plenty of other options, will abandon a business that isn’t socially responsible.

At the very least, engaging in socially responsible actions helps give companies a good reputation.

Right now, many companies that want to begin CSR initiatives start with one or more of these four broad categories:

  1. Green efforts:  Businesses have a large carbon footprint. Reducing those footprints is a step that’s good for the company and for society as a whole.

 

  1. Philanthropy: Money is always welcome at nonprofits that deal with social causes. But donations in kind are also welcome; your company may have products and services that could benefit charities and community programs. One good place to start would be joining the Giving Tuesday charitable movement, which takes place the day after Cyber Monday to kick off the holidays.

 

  1. Ethical HR: It’s socially responsible to be fair and ethical with all employees.  And it also sets an example for your industry, especially in other nations with labor laws that are different than those in the US.

 

  1. Volunteerism: By doing good deeds without expecting anything in return, companies can demonstrate their commitment, voice their concerns about specific issues and show their support for positive initiatives and organizations.

 

Philadelphia’s Team Clean embraced CSR from the day they opened for business. As a professional janitorial service, Team Clean lost no time in joining the citywide Philly Spring Cleanup, where 21 Team Clean volunteers removed approximately 75 bags of trash and debris.  Team Clean’s CEO Donna Allie also served as the chair of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” yearlong national campaign against heart disease.  And her “Think Green” initiative promotes green cleaning products instead of the standard commercial cleaners, which can be harmful if touched or inhaled.

Major corporations can have an outsized impact on whatever causes they choose to champion. But you don’t need to be in the Fortune 500 to make a difference.  Even a boutique business or a one-person company will discover that the long-term benefits of corporate social responsibility far outweigh the cost of donating a portion of their profits

Rethink Recycling

The dress is a knockout. A form-fitting scarlet sheath with a train that goes on for miles. The fact that it’s made from cereal boxes, recycled paint and parachute scraps almost seems beside the point.

Titled “Eco-Flamenco,” this dress was created by artist and environmental advocate Nancy Judd, who has been rethinking recycling. “It is in the challenge of transforming materials that are difficult to work with or that are seen as ugly, into something that is pretty, glamorous or interesting that makes me come alive,” she told reporters at an exhibition of her work in Ft. Collins.  And “Eco-Flamenco” carries her message in numerous ways. For example, the red ruffles on its train carry 5,000 eco-pledges written on the scraps before they were sewn onto the dress. (Many of Judd’s fashion pieces are referred to as “sculptures,” depending on whether they can be worn or not).

One of Judd’s more versatile materials is called “plarn”—plastic yarn, made from those flimsy plastic shopping bags that cannot be recycled. Plarn is very much a homegrown solution to the problem posed by these bags; anyone who can crochet, braid or knit can make plarn at home with a pair of scissors. Once you have enough, you’ll be crocheting sturdy, reusable tote bags, purses, doormats, and more in no time. Crafters across the country have embraced plarn as another way to rethink recycling, and the humble plastic yarn that would otherwise have been waste has inspired countless communities, websites and YouTube videos for the curious.

While some are rethinking how plastics can be reused or recycled as formal wear or pocketbooks, others are looking at recycling the stuff that came in those pesky (and unrecyclable) clamshell containers.  Yes, food.

In New York City, residents already had blue and green recycling bins for glass, metal, paper and plastic. Brown bins for organic waste began appearing on sidewalks last summer.  Food waste had been ending up in landfills, which was no longer tenable. Besides hogging the lion’s share of each landfill, organic waste was heavy and expensive to ship. It also released methane, a greenhouse gas, as it decomposed.  New York sanitation officials say that the goal is for every resident of the city to have a way to recycle food scraps, along with other trash organics, like yard and leaf waste. The organic waste will be composted and used as garden fertilizer, livestock feed, and as biogas that can be used as fuel.

These are just some of the positive results that have emerged from people and communities who rethink recycling.  After dinner tonight, take an extra few moments to contemplate your table scraps, and where they’ll be going after they leave your kitchen. Is there something better, more useful and less hazardous your organic waste could be doing?

______________________________________________________________________________________

Founded in 1983, Team Clean, Inc. is a commercial janitorial services company in Philadelphia. Due mainly to the service focus and vision of its founder/president/CEO—Donna L. Allie, PhD.—the company enjoyed huge growth during its first two decades. By 1999, it was the fourth-largest woman-owned business in Philadelphia, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center identified it as one of the fastest-growing small businesses in that metropolitan area.

Flu

SLOWING THE FLU: How the Pros Clean and Disinfect a School

When the summer ends and school returns, so does the flu. But the flu can be slowed and sometimes stopped when school personnel take these active measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in schools. To help slow the spread of influenza (flu), the first line of defense is getting vaccinated. Other measures include staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often. Below are tips on how to slow the spread of flu specifically through cleaning and disinfecting.

1. Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

2. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often

Follow your school’s standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys. Some schools may also require daily disinfecting these items. Standard procedures often call for disinfecting specific areas of the school, like bathrooms.

Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.

3. Simply do routine cleaning and disinfecting

It is important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill. Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for up to 48 hours after being deposited on a surface. However, it is not necessary to close schools to clean or disinfect every surface in the building to slow the spread of flu. Also, if students and staff are dismissed because the school cannot function normally (e.g., high absenteeism during a flu outbreak), it is not necessary to do extra cleaning and disinfecting.

Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them. Special cleaning and disinfecting processes, including wiping down walls and ceilings, frequently using room air deodorizers, and fumigating, are not necessary or recommended. These processes can irritate eyes, noses, throats, and skin; aggravate asthma; and cause other serious side effects.

4. Clean and disinfect correctly

Always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against influenza A virus.

If a surface is not visibly dirty, you can clean it with an EPA-registered product that both cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs) instead. Be sure to read the label directions carefully, as there may be a separate procedure for using the product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time (e.g., letting it stand for 3 to 5 minutes).

Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. Pay close attention to the directions for using disinfecting wipes. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the stated length of contact time. Make sure that the electronics can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting.

5. Use products safely

Pay close attention to hazard warnings and directions on product labels. Cleaning products and disinfectants often call for the use of gloves or eye protection. For example, gloves should always be worn to protect your hands when working with bleach solutions.

Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so. Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can result in serious injury or death.

Ensure that custodial staff, teachers, and others who use cleaners and disinfectants read and understand all instruction labels and understand safe and appropriate use. This might require that instructional materials and training be provided in other languages.

6. Handle waste properly

Follow your school’s standard procedures for handling waste, which may include wearing gloves. Place no-touch wastebaskets where they are easy to use. Throw disposable items used to clean surfaces and items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying wastebaskets. Wash your hands with soap and water after emptying wastebaskets and touching used tissues and similar waste.

If the constant cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing put too much of a burden on the school’s staff to do the job properly, a professional janitorial service with in-school antibacterial and flu experience like Team Clean may well be safest way to go.

Team Clean, whose clients include primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, employs effective cleaning techniques to combat mersa (antibiotic-resistant bacteria) and stringent employment screening and hiring procedures, with the goal of producing an environmentally safe and clean facility, free from harmful bacteria.

Naturally, school bathrooms present their own challenges. Team Clean’s Spotless Restrooms program has been particularly effective in residence halls, which require detail cleaning in restrooms to eradicate harmful microorganisms that can cause serious illnesses. This program utilizes specialized equipment and Green chemicals to provide effective sanitation in these rooms.

Need more info? Take a look at these other CDC pages:

1 2 3 8
 

Free Consultation

Receive a complimentary price quote for cleaning services that will fit your needs and your budget

Frequency of service

How many square feet?

Facility Type

Type of Service Requested

General CleaningFloor CarePressure WashingLandscapingSnow RemovalDetail CleaningConstruction CleaningAll of the above

24/7 Support

All of us at Team Clean are dedicated to delivering impeccable service to our customers at all times. You can reach us in three ways: By phone, at 267-514- 8326 (TEAM) – By e-mail, at info@team-clean.com, or through our website. Our goal is responsive, reliable service at your call.

Monday - Friday

Team Clean’s headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.