*Cleanzine-logo-10a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 16th May 2024 Issue no. 1114

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All the large cleaning shows I’ve ever attended have staged innovation awards and I’ve often wondered how the designers manage to keep coming up with ideas on how to improve on technology which already seemed to have been perfected several tweaks back. Occasionally John Austen and I have come up with and broadcast our own awards at these events – not because we disagree with the judges but because sometimes things have struck us as being really clever and perhaps those responsible haven’t thought about entering the awards at all - either because they don’t feel they’ll stand a chance of winning or because they don’t have the manpower to produce the entry or have the budget for the entry fee.

An innovation I feel is worth of a mention today is Interclean Amsterdam’s ‘Zero Waste Dome’ – something I’ve never come across before. Sited in the Innovation Lab amongst all the Awards finalists, it offers, through presentations from experts in the field of waste separation, a great way for us all to learn about the crucial role those involved in cleaning, play in the waste management process. Developed in cooperation with the ZeroWasteFoundation, it teaches how, if you’re to maximise recycling potential, you need pure, rather than contaminated, 'raw material' flows: that each flow must be separated pure, kept pure and presented pure for collection and onward transportation to whichever part of the recycling industry it is destined, if the most is to be made out of everyone’s efforts. It demonstrates the crucial role our cleaning teams play in this process… Since they’re active throughout the company and all its nooks and crannies, they’re in the perfect position to be able to observe waste separation with an analytical eye and thus should be able to actively contribute to the optimisation and expansion of the recycling process.

Years ago I argued the case for cleaners to be involved in the procurement process in as much as, being ‘at the sharp end’, (fully aware of the problems that needed tackling and being responsible for dealing with those problems) they would know what equipment/products/processes worked well and what didn’t, as well as what was simple to use. I saw many virtually unused pieces of equipment in cleaning cupboards, left idle because either they didn’t properly serve their purpose or because they were awkward to handle. Had the cleaners been involved in trialling the equipment a lot of expensive mistakes could have been avoided. The Zero Waste Dome, I believe, is an extension of this idea and is all about using the cleaners’ invaluable experience and potentially valuable input, to the full. We need more of this please.



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Jan Hobbs

12th May 2022

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