As of 2018, according to the EPA, 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were thrown away. Of that, 94 million tons were recycled or composted, which is the equivalent of about only 32% of waste being diverted from landfills.
Properly disposing of waste can be a labor and research-intensive act that most don’t want to invest their time in.
This task can become even more daunting and difficult in a commercial setting. The proper disposal of commercial cleaning equipment can be time consuming and costly, and thus ignored.
For an industry that prides itself on keeping spaces clean, healthy, and safe, the truth of how we take care of and handle our own equipment can sometimes be less than "share" worthy.
It is not uncommon for mid to large size contractors and building owners to lose track of their cleaning equipment, find that they have a “graveyard” of old machines hiding in a back corner of a building somewhere, and in some rare cases even discover old equipment has been discarded in a dumpster.
This can be troublesome because not only is throwing away equipment terrible for the environment, but it is also a waste of resources and money. Thus, we end up with those “graveyards” of worn-down machines that no longer work and sit hidden in a dark forgotten corner.
The “graveyard” scenario isn’t much better than the dumpster scenario because even if the machines are sometimes used for parts, letting them sit unused is a sure-fire way for them to never be used again due to the degradation of the battery and the negative consequences that come from letting machines sit for prolonged periods of time.
Plus, leaving equipment sitting without use takes up expensive real-estate that could be used more efficiently. More importantly, health and safety violations could be a result of letting machines sit unused for extended periods of time, depending on your business.
We haven’t even mentioned what to do with those pesky batteries? Traditional lead acid batteries have a specific disposal process separate from the equipment and this can add another layer to the complexity of proper equipment disposal.
Sounds less than ideal, doesn’t it? The truth of the matter is that figuring out what to do with commercial cleaning equipment at the end of its useful life can be difficult.
Beyond the convoluted scenarios of figuring out how to dispose of the machines is the issue of time. Let’s face it, the cleaning industry is always pressed for time.
Between keeping up with the on the job demands of training team members, hiring staff, and making sure equipment is working so the cleaning can get done, spending time on the disposal process is the last thing anyone has the time to think about, let alone actually physically do.
Especially when part of that process is researching the different local, state, and federal guidelines for proper disposal of equipment and batteries. This step alone can be time consuming and logistically challenging.
For example, if you’re a large contractor with client accounts spread across the country, you’ll have to spend the time researching the laws and local ordinances in each state to avoid fines and citations. The time and money spent in administrative costs on this alone can end up being quite expensive.
Plus, it requires a person to stay on top of these changing laws and regulations. If your business operates in one state, this may not be as much of an issue, but it still requires a person on your team to devote energy to it and it adds to the total cost of machine ownership.
Of course, there are solutions that have popped up over the years. Depending on where you are located you may be able to find a reconditioning company that will pick up and dispose of your equipment for you.
This may make getting rid of the machine easier, however, the coordination of organizing pickup, finding all the parts, and even finding the machines can take time away from the more important daily cleaning.
For example, complex spaces like airports and malls typically have janitorial storage closets in multiple locations around the facility. Thus, you’ll need someone to take time out of their day to escort the reconditioning agent around the facility to collect the machines you wish to dispose of.
On top of that, most re-conditioners avoid rolling a truck for less than two machines. So, if you oversee a larger operation, that can mean hours of collecting, finding, and assisting with machine removal—and let’s not forget that most of the time these machines are not moving on their own, so it can be a labor-intensive process.
If you oversee a smaller facility, this could mean you’ll have a harder time finding someone to come pick up the equipment, until you have a certain number of units on hand. That means keeping old machines around longer than necessary.
ICE Cobotics offers commercial floor cleaning scrubbers and sweepers through a flexible all-inclusive subscription service. This means, once your contract is up for the scrubber or sweeper, you’ll send it back to them and they will dispose of it responsibly.
This service saves you time and eventually money. No more hassle of wondering what to do with the equipment when it has run its course, no more researching how to properly dispose of the machine, no more worry about what to do with the battery.
Plus, because the subscription service is all-inclusive, this means that maintenance, parts, and service are included in your monthly payment. So, you no longer need to hang on to old machines for parts, as maintenance and service are part of the subscription service. Plus, ICE Cobotics equipment comes with lithium-ion batteries—meaning you’ll deal with even less hassle related to battery care and replacement.
In the end, time is money! By subscribing to floor cleaning equipment, you’re saving yourself time, your administrative team time, and you’re keeping your cleaning team on task.
Contact one of our subscription experts for more information.
For further reading, we suggest: 3 Ways to Reduce Downtime for Your Cleaning Business