Now that Earth Day is upon us once again, we at The Roscoe Company have been reflecting on our long history of sustainability. In fact, offering work uniform and floor mat rental services is by itself a sustainable practice for any organization. We’ve also added other “green” equipment, work processes and products through the years and have been recognized by our industry as well as the governor’s office in Illinois for our environmentally friendly efforts.
In the Beginning…
Founded in 1921 with the idea of saving workers from having to wash their dirty laundry at home by offering to pick up, launder, and deliver clean garments back to them, Roscoe has been environmentally friendly from the very beginning. Five years later, in 1926, Roscoe added washing customer-owned rags to its services, which was among the first recycling efforts, significantly reducing the amount of rags that would have ended up in landfills. In another three years, in 1929, the service was expanded by offering shop towels to our rental service.
On-Site Wastewater Treatment & A Clean Record
Roscoe introduced on-site wastewater treatment to the industry in 1975, and has more recently installed new washers that dramatically cut water and wash chemical usage, along with installing LED lighting in the plant and heat-reclamation systems that save electricity and natural gas. In 2015, Roscoe began de-watering liquid sludge, which reduces our solid waste.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) has given Roscoe a clean record. As Operations Team Leader Israel Cartagena likes to tell our customers, “There’s a noncompliance list out there (with the MWRD), but we have never been on that list.”
Our environmental efforts have earned us the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award (now called the Governor’s Sustainability Award) in 1999 and again in 2016. We were also awarded the TRSA Sustainability Innovation Award in 2010, the TRSA Clean Green Award in 2010 and 2016, and have been Clean Green Certified every year since the certification was created in 2012.
Taking Pride in our Environment
Roscoe takes pride in reducing our environmental impact, and that pride shows also in our products and services. For 96 years Roscoe has been at the forefront of keeping the industrial laundry industry environmentally conscious by continually expanding our product line:
- Uniforms: using Roscoe’s laundering service uses less energy, water, and detergent than if everyone washed their own uniforms at home
- Shop Towels (Wipers): reusable shop towels absorb greases, oils, inks and solvents, and are more effective and environmentally sound than paper or disposable rags; and, unlike throwing them in the trash, Roscoe handles free-flowing solvents in the rags in compliance with government regulatory standards
- Oil Soakers (Reusable Absorbent Carpets): quick-drying and absorbent, they provide a barrier between oily and clean work areas, and improve worker safety by preventing oil and grease seeping into walkways; they are earth-friendly by reducing landfill waste and are cleaned or disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner, in compliance with EPA regulations
- Floor Mat Systems: reduce the amount of dirt and grime that gets tracked on your floors, thereby reducing the wear on your carpeting, meaning less frequent replacement
- Dust & Wet Mops: are picked up, cleaned, and delivered regularly, which means you won’t be mopping floors with a dirty mop; this reduces cross-contamination, mildew and mold build-up, and out built-in anti-microbial protection prevents bacteria growth
- Bar, Hand, Bath & Kitchen Towels: regularly picked up, laundered, and delivered fresh and clean so the customer doesn’t have to throw them in the trash
- Continuous Roll Towels (CRTs): prevent the mess and waste of paper towels, at a cost of one-tenth of a cent less per use than paper
Roscoe’s dominance in the industry is exemplified by its pioneering spirit to incorporate technologies, processes, and products that are not only good for their customers but also for the environment. Utilizing modern day best practices in recycling and reuse since its inception in 1921, Roscoe works internally and with suppliers to continually strengthen its conservation efforts.