The National Cleaners Association is rolling out a new five-point rating scale to assess how green cleaning services are, according to GreenBiz.com.
The system goes beyond the most common concern: What chemical is used to get stains out of clothing dropped off for cleaning. Harsh solvents have been used for years in the industry, and many dry cleaners have become hazardous waste sites because solvents leaked or were dumped. Alternatives are more commonly used, and in some states and cities, the most toxic cleansers have been banned.
The rating system goes beyond solvents to assess everything from how cleaners transport their products to whether they recycle and reuse clothes hangers, according to GreenBiz.
The rating system is voluntary and relies on the statements made by individual businesses. So there's still a strong element of buyer beware.
The Green Cleaning Council, which administers the program, will launch a Web site soon with more information, including lists of participating cleaners. Find it at www.greencleanerscouncil.com.
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