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Arizona Cleaning Equipment » Environment

Posts filed under 'Environment'

New magazine about growing your own food in Arizona soil

Growing own food in Arizona Desert

New Magazine focusing in food sustainability in southern Arizona

July 8th, 2013

Before and After Power Washing in Manhattan

It makes a bit of a difference, no?

November 30th, 2012

Plastic bags gum up Phoenix recycling

AZ central published a story yesterday about a recent survey in Phoenix that reveals that 11 percent of plastic bag users still dispose of them in recycling containers. This, of course, causes problems and delays for our local recycling program. Though I already knew it wasn’t appropriate to mix plastic bags with other recyclable items, I didn’t have a good explanation for it. This publication gives you that, as well a short background on the Phoenix recycling program.

Remember: “Ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind.” I hope you enjoy this read and take a minute to share it on your social network

Plastic bags gum up Phoenix recycling

by Betty Reid


Phoenix has tried for years to persuade residents to stop throwing plastic grocery bags into the city’s blue recycle bins.

But despite the city’s efforts, many residents continue to toss the bags in the containers, costing more than $1 million a year. And residents who do this may do more harm than good because the city turns around and dumps the plastic in the landfill.

A city-commissioned survey of 1,201 residents in February indicated 11 percent of respondents still threw plastic bags into the recycle bin.

“I don’t think people are being malicious,” said Terry Gellenbeck, Phoenix’s solid waste administrative analyst. “A lot of people get mixed up.”

Despite the survey, Albert Alvarez, Phoenix recycling information specialist, said he has seen an improvement since grocery stores started Bag Central Station in 2007. Through the program, residents can toss plastic bags in bins at the grocery store so the plastic can be recycled into items such as plastic furniture and decking.

“Plastic bags are recyclable but not in your bin at home,” he said. “At the grocery store, the plastic bags stay nice and clean. And the grocery store, they turn around and have a buyer for all their plastics.”

The survey

Phoenix’s most recent research about plastic-bag recycling was finished in February. The city also conducted research in 2008 and 2007.

According to the research, 72 percent of plastic-bag users find other uses for them, while 11 percent returned them to the store and 11 percent disposed of them in the city’s recycling container. The previous study showed 10 percent pitched plastic bags into recycle bins in 2008, down from 12 percent in 2007.

Phoenix Behavior Research Center Inc. conducted the study by telephone with Phoenix heads of households in February. The purpose of the work was to gauge residents’ use of plastic bags and their attitudes about plastic-bag recycling, according to the research.

The survey also asked respondents about their attitudes about plastic bags as an ecological problem and their awareness of Bag Central Station displays at grocery stores.

Doreen Pollack, who lives in Phoenix, said she has a guest house, and her guests often put their recyclable items in a plastic bag or they throw everything into the bin. She then has to take the items out of the bag and resort them, or fish out the plastic bags.

“(It) just seems wrong to leave them in the bin when I see them,” she said.

Pollack, who is also the executive director of Valley Permaculture Alliance, said her non-profit teaches people how to live sustainably. When she forgets to bring her cloth bag to the grocery store, Pollack uses a plastic bag, which she reuses for pet litter.

Pollack believes getting the message to people is a real challenge.

“I think people don’t get the message,” she said. “People say, ‘We’re surprised I never saw that.’ I think people are so busy they don’t take the time or a small amount of people don’t care. I think it’s probably just ignorance because people have not gotten themselves informed.”

The city’s program

The city’s recycling program began in the late 1980s.

Phoenix Public Works Department began putting together a five-year plan expecting the Valley would grapple with growth. The city predicted it would fill two landfills to capacity by the mid-1990s.

Phoenix officials decided to deal with solid-waste management by promoting the three “R’s” — reduce, reuse, recycle.

Phoenix collects 1.25 billion pounds of garbage annually, enough to fill Chase Field seven times. And it recycles 120,000 tons. every year.

Phoenix now picks up recycling and garbage on the same day — a recent change — for its 400,000 households.

The contents of the blue bins end up at one of two transfer stations: the North Gateway Transfer Station, 30205 N. Black Canyon Highway, or the 27th Avenue Transfer Station, 3060 S. 27th Ave.

At North Gateway Transfer Station, operated by ReCommunity, workers operate machines that sort and bale recycled items.

Gellenbeck said Re-Community finds the buyers for recycled items. If, for example, the company sells recycled paper to China, it could be reused as a shoe box.

“They cut us a check of 90 percent of the material, and (the city) receive 10 percent,” he said of the company. “If we put the right things into the blue barrels, we get the best price for the materials.”

The center processes 250 tons of materials per day, according to Alvarez.

How it works

On one recent morning, a truck pulled into the station and dumped the morning collection.

Out tumbled heaps of empty boxes that once contained diapers, fruit, cereal, beer or pizza. The load also contained air filters, aluminum cans, glass jars and plastic-grocery bags.

A front loader placed heaps of the materials on a conveyor belt as the sorting process started. Workers stood on the side of the machine and manually caught plastic bags, but some whizzed by.

Down the line, a machine with rollers sorted paper by size. Its enemy: plastic bags.

“What happens is we have these bars that spin, and there’s rubber wheels on them, well, the plastic bags get wrapped around the rubber wheels,” Alvarez said. “In between the wheels, there are open slots that bottles and cans are supposed to fall through but the plastic bags get wrapped up and it jams those holes and close them up and the materials don’t get sorted properly.”

The plastic bags brought the machine to a grinding halt, and workers fixed the machine by pulling out plastic bags. This happens two to four times per day, creating a 15-minute shutdown each time, Gellenbeck said.

This stoppage of workers costs about $1 million per year at both transfer stations, city officials say.

The solution

If people take the bags to the grocery store, they are clean and are perfect for recycling, said Stephanie Ribodal Romero, Phoenix spokeswoman.

The Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, an advocacy group for the state’s food industry, began a partnership with Phoenix in 2007, placing Bag Central Station recycle bins in its member stores. The intent is to encourage the recycling of plastic bags and to reduce their use.

The city has promoted the program at large community gatherings or at schools.

“We believe kids have a lot of influence on parents,” Romero said.

 

Source: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20120822phoenix-recycling-plastic-bags-problem-online-prog.html?page=2#ixzz24sgewVeF

August 28th, 2012

How to Clean Your House After a Nearby Wildfire

Although the task to clean your house after a nearby willdfire can be a great deal of work, those who live in fire prone areas consider themselves in most instances fortunate to have a home to return to following the disaster.

To soot and ash remaining after a wildfire has passed can be difficult to clean from your home after a nearby wildfire, but with a good game plan can be completed in a day or two of intensive labor. It is because of the labor component that it is always a good idea to enlist as much assistance as possible to clean a house following a wildfire, in order to finish quickly before winds push ash from a dirty section of the house back onto a section that has been cleaned.

Step 1: To clean your house after a nearby wildfire begin on the roof, either by sweeping the ash off or by using a leaf blower to remove the ash. It is important to clean the inside of your chimney using either a chimney brush or vacuum, and if the chimney is extremely dirty a call to a professional chimney sweep may be necessary.

The house gutters are the next area that need to be cleaned and can be done either by hand or with the use of a shop vacuum if the ash and dirt is reasonably dry. When this is completed the next step to clean your house after a nearby wildfire is to “dust” the exterior of your home using a broom and brushing the exterior walls, windows and window ledges to remove soot build up and ash.

Step 2: After removing as much dirt as possible from your house after a nearby wildfire, the next step is to wash the entire exterior of your home beginning on the roof and working your way from top to bottom.

While this can be accomplished in most cases using a garden hose, in severe instances a power washer does a much better job and can be used in conjunction with a cleaning agent to really make a house shine. A few hours after washing the exterior of the house, the windows and any other glass can be cleaned with window cleaner and the house should look as good as new.

Step 3: The last measure to clean your house after a nearby wildfire is to vacuum and clean concrete walks and driveways, and if possible to remove ash and soot from the lawn. Ash that has accumulated on grassy areas can be sprayed lightly with a garden hose each day for a week of so and will eventually recede into the ground.

Source: http://www.firehow.com/2011010222574/how-to-clean-your-house-after-a-nearby-wildfire.html

June 25th, 2012

Some Information on Mineral Resources in AZ

Did you know that Arizona mines and quarries directly employ nearly 22,000 people who collectively earn more than 1 billion dollars each year?


Below, Mining districts in Arizona are categorized by the specific geologic environment in which the mineral deposit formed. Base- and precious-metal mining districts are classified according to the dollar value of metals produced. Only districts for which the total value of reported production of copper, lead, zinc, gold, or silver is greater than $500,000 (based on 1996 metal prices) are shown. Manganese, uranium, and tungsten districts have had significant production. Only minor quantities have been produced from the iron and mercury districts. Locations of economically or historically significant mines are also shown.

To learn more visit the Arizona Geological Survey.

April 16th, 2012

News: Hydro Engineering Inc. Helps a Remote Mine Site Stay in Environmental Compliance with the Installation of a Hydropad Turn Key Wash Rack

The following press pelease explains the many benefits an installation of Hydro Engineering Inc. technologies provide in a mining project. At Az cleaning equipment, we retail, install and service these products because we value their usefulness and reliability.

(PRWEB) February 28, 2012

Hydro Engineering’s breakthrough green technologies are leading the way in which equipment is cleaned in remote environments. The Hydropad portable wash rack is perfect for companies, large or small, who are looking to comply with EPA rules and environmental laws but have neither the time nor money to construct a wash rack.

The Hydropad wash rack and its Hydrokleen recycling system captures 100% of wash wastewater and recycles it. These above ground, steel wash racks are extremely durable and environmentally friendly. All wash water captured by the Hydropad is filtered through the Hydrokleen filtration system and reused. Hydrokleen systems use state-of-the-art materials of construction and manufacturing techniques to exceed vehicle and equipment manufactures requirements for performance, durability and corrosion prevention. The recycled water is then reused in the Hydroblaster pressure washer equipment making cleaning of large or small equipment quick and easy. This technology has proved to be particularly useful in remote locations that don’t have an available sanitary sewer connection.

Unlike most permanent wash racks for heavy equipment, all that is needed to set up and use the Hydropad wash rack is electric power, water, and a solid, level surface to place it on. Hydro Engineering Inc.’s products meet the requirement of secondary water containment, and do not require an architectural design. Hydropad instant wash racks rarely require a permit, never require construction, and are seen as equipment rather than a capital construction project.

“Hydro Engineering Inc. was very good in changing the design to meet changing environmental permit requirements. Was able to adapt to our changing schedule and met our start-up needs and requirements on a fast track project”, Said Todd Fayram of American Bonanza .

About Hydro Engineering Inc.

Hydro Engineering Inc. is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, and is now in its 32nd year of operation. The company is ISO9001 certified and prides itself in a top quality management system. They provide the finest in washing, collection and wastewater treatment/recycling systems to thousands of customers worldwide. Hydro Engineering Inc.’s innovative products include Hydroblaster pressure washers, Hydrokleen waste water and filtration equipment, Hydro-biodigester odor control products, and the Hydropad above ground washing pads.

February 28th, 2012

Water-Driven Progress: Deal could bring running water to Navajo, Hopi homes.

Thousands of people on the Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations would gain access to running water under terms of a proposed settlement in a decades-old dispute over the rights to Arizona’s water resources.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., introduced the settlement Tuesday from the floor of the U.S. Senate, calling it inconceivable that in 2012, members of the two tribes still must haul water in tanks and barrels just to meet their daily needs.

His legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would authorize spending more than $300 million on three groundwater-delivery projects on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. In exchange, the two tribes would give up their claims to water in the Little Colorado River system, giving towns and farmers on the river certainty about their water supplies.

February 15th, 2012

The Trend of Reverse Graffiti

I have been seeing the method of “Reverse Graffiti” develop over the last few months. Though right now it is most popular in Europe, I can see local artists and teens embracing this technique, either for self expression or a form of advertisement.

Who would’ve known that a power washer that has been used to fight graffiti for so many years would be embraced by the perpetrators?

One thing is clear here, the use of stencils makes gives this kind of graffiti a more clean and sophisticated look compared to mere wall tagging and it can serve the purpose of making residents aware of the grime that surrounds us.

This video and a related article can be found at Autoblog.com: http://www.autoblog.com/2011/09/19/artists-create-amazing-reverse-graffiti-car-art-using-pollutio/

September 20th, 2011

Three Environmental Benefits Of Pressure Cleaning

environmentalPressure cleaning is an ideal way to remove stains from almost any kind of surface. It is also mandatory should you be considering sealing concrete or other hard surfaces. If you are cognizant of the techniques that should be employed while cleaning and are also well equipped with the necessary safety gear, removing stains cannot be done with any more ease. Time, costs and efforts can be saved by making use of these equipments.

Uses of pressure cleaners

These cleaners are reliable and powerful and are put to a number of uses. They come in handy especially when you want to clean boat decks, garage floors, boat ramps, warehouses, roofs, parking lots, concrete floors, driveways etc. High quality, long use life, tremendous energy saving, shorter working times and effectiveness are the striking characteristics of a typical pressure washer. Besides this, pressure cleaning offers three important environmental benefits that are best outlined in the section below.

Environmental benefits of pressure washers

Cleaning is usually associated with the use of chemicals and tough stains require stronger and harsh chemicals. They are hazardous to the environment by the release of toxins (cleaning agents when flushed may run into drain and could flood the streets) and are quite harmful to person and property. But with a pressure cleaner, these cleaning agents are not necessarily required. This is simply because pressure cleaners spray water at a great speed and force which make it sufficient to remove dirt and accumulated debris with ease.

Time and natural resources can be saved to a large extent. Besides the point that you may require relatively less time to complete a cleaning job using pressure cleaners; you also save a lot of water. A pressure washer employs force and hence the amount of water is not a priority. The reason for less water consumption is because the output pressure is 50 times more than that of a garden hose. It can be safely said that water saving happens up to 75 percent with a pressure washer when compared to a garden hose. Less water implies less energy usage by the water department.

Another important resource to watch out for is consumption of electricity. Most household or domestic cleaning operations can be handled by an electric pressure washer. While electricity cost to run a pressure washer depends upon your local electric rates and size of the equipment, average costs would only be about 10 cents per hour.

Considering the benefits offered by pressure cleaners to the environment and to its user, it certainly is considered a viable option for cleaning operations. However, it is important for you to understand its operations before handling. Also, at a time when green practices are widely practiced by many countries across the world, having a cleaning method such as this is the need of the hour.

Article Directory : http://www.articlecube.com

About the Aouthor: Sydney Wide Pressure Cleaning is a leading authority in external cleaning. Their services include sealing concrete, cleaning pavers, driveway cleaning and house washing.

July 25th, 2011

Wild Fires and Other Natural Disasters – How can a pressure washer business help?

It’s disheartening to see the many families that are being affected by The Wallow and the The Horseshoe Two fires in Arizona. According to Az Central, The devastating Wallow Fire remains completely uncontained with more than 230,000 acres burned as of late Monday evening. Fire officials report that four structures have been destroyed by the flames in the Wallow fire while 348 structures remain in harms way. The Horse Shoe Two fire has destroyed six structures, and is estimated that  65 others are in danger.

At this point is difficult to know when this disaster will cease, but we know that our fire fighting forces will do  their best to help during and after this unfortunate event. When this is all over, there will be much to rebuild and restore.

The following is an article by Carlos Gonzales from Fairfield, Ca. about clean-ups after a natural disaster published on Cleaner Times Magazine.

Aiding Clean-Up Efforts After A Natural Disaster

Over the years the pressure washing contractor has explored many ways to market their services to almost every imaginable opportunity out there.  It may come as a surprise to some but pressure washing after a natural disaster could very well be the next frontier for our industry.  My experience with working in natural disasters areas are two fold:  I spent many days and nights as a firefighter on the fire lines protecting homes and business’s from fast moving wild land fires throughout California before I owned a pressure washing business.  As a pressure washer, I traveled to southern California after the infamous L.A fires in early 2000 where I spent several days pressure washing homes that accumulated soot and embers carried by the drift smoke.

Unfortunately, natural disasters and natural disaster clean-up is big business.  According to the ISO/PCS Insurance Information Institute, in 2007, insured loss or damage cost due to wild fires was 1.6 billion dollars.  And this was just for the state of California.  Hurricane damage cost and clean-up during the ‘05 & ‘06 hurricane season in the southern region of the U.S. reached a staggering 58.8 billion.

Flood damage and clean up cost in the mid west and northeast also reflect staggering figures in which billions of dollars of aide from the federal government is funneled to these locales to assist communities and often time entire states get back to some semblance of normalcy.

My trip to southern California was originally prescribed as volunteer work to assist home and business owners clean up their property.  While down in the fire zone I soon realized that pressure washing was a much needed and sought out service.  Every imaginable outside fixture that fell victim to the intense drift smoke but avoided the actual fire was seemingly fair game for pressure washing.  Community after community had one form or another of drift smoke ash accumulation that required a remedy.   Insurance adjusters from different insurance companies beckoned our assistance to quickly rinse off properties and cars in quick fashion in order for them to accurately determine if any fire damage occurred, per the insurance claim filed by the policy holder.  As we jokingly say in the pressure washing industry, I was definitely redefining the term “splash and dash” during our time in this region.  No cleaning chemicals were required, just a quick rinse.  The insurance adjusters only wanted to see if there was any fire damage to the property in question.

My curiosity about the type of insurance claims prompted me to inquire in between rinsing.  I was surprised to hear one insurance adjuster reflect in saying that the majority of the policy holders file claims to have their properties repainted.  I countered by explaining that just by pressure washing the likely hood of obtaining pre-fire condition was realistic – all with a fraction of the cost it would take an insurance company to pay a painting company to repaint the property.  Beyond that I explained that if the property did indeed need painting, one must pressure wash it first.

Captain Gregory Bounds from the Suisun City Fire Department, a northern California fire department that deploys each year during wild fire season explains that ash and soot from drift smoke can blanket communities for hundred of square miles.  “With any significant wild land fire incident you can pretty much guarantee that these communities will need the services of a company to spray away the accumulation of ash.”  He further states the need of having pressure washing services at the fire base camp “De-mob (demobilization) is mandatory for the release of fire department vehicles upon that safety inspection by a certified mechanic (ICS 212 form).  For the de-mobe mechanics to inspect a dirty, muddy fire engine delays the process of inspecting that vehicle properly to get it repaired if needed and home safely.  It is not uncommon for strike teams to drive hundreds of miles for it to return home.  The power washing would allow the mechanics to visibly see damaged areas from 4×4 driving and accumulated dirt and soot that sticks to electrical components, u-joints and windows.”

Asked if pressure washing could be a viable service for natural disaster incidents such as wild land fires? Captain Bounds remarked “the need is there today, however a pressure washing company could not just show up at base camp and announce that they are there to pressure wash”. Captain Bounds recommends anyone wishing to explore this service to begin by contacting their local FEMA representative or start at their local fire department to determine who to contact to get your pressure washing company listed as a vendor during wildfire incidents. Having your pressure wash company participate in natural disaster incidents will require patience and determination especially dealing with all the bureaucratic paper work that often comes as a pre-requisite. However once you obtain the necessary clearance as a vendor you stand a good chance of traveling from once incident to the next throughout the summer months providing a much needed service to the men and women that put their life on the line by fighting these raging infernos.

Natural disasters are not just limited to wild fires in the western part of the U.S.  Take Mathew Johnson from Pressure Washing Services located in Milford, NY.  Mr. Johnson and I spoke on natural disaster clean up the summer before his service area was hit with significant floods due to the unusual amount of rainfall that year.  He put the natural disaster clean up concept to work.  “What Carlos applied in California, I did the same thing here in New York except I applied it to our natural disaster – flooding” Mathew said.  He further explains, “For our industry, it is a unique service that if you are the only one providing it today you are almost guaranteed that your phone will be ringing to provide services during a time of need.”

Now before you run down to the local fire department and ask the fire chief to give you a call when a natural disaster occurs, you must first determine whether or not this “add on” service to your pressure washing business is right for you.  There are many considerations that you must evaluate before embarking to a natural disaster area:

  • Days away from regular pressure washing business;
  • Cash on hand.  Some disaster areas will not have functional ATM’s or banks readily open in the area.
  • No pay.  Insurance claims and payments can be a long drawn out process.  Can you afford to not get paid from 60-90 days?
  • Emotional impact.  Working in natural disaster zones especially hurricane and flood incidents can have an emotional impact on you especially if you frequently in contact with casualties;

It would be a sound recommendation for you to contact your local insurance agent in your community first.  They could  have the contact information for you immediately verses you having to track it down.

Providing pressure washing services during a natural disaster will require due diligence and a lot of preparation on your part.  Today you may wish to begin on a smaller scale right in your service area.  A house fire, depending on the intensity, can blanket adjoining houses with soot and ash.  A suggestion would be to make up fliers about your pressure washing services and distribute them discreetly around the location of the house fire well after the initial shock that normally plaques home or business owners during this difficult time.  This concept also applies to local flooding, coastal oil spills and small grass fires in and around communities across the U.S.

As you continue to evaluate your company and the services it provides you owe it to yourself to do not ignore the opportunities that lay during times such as when a natural disaster strikes – big or small. As history has shown, disasters such as hurricanes, fires and floods will continue to hold communities hostage for years to come.  Could it be time that the pressure washing industry contributes to help build these communities back?

June 7th, 2011

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