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Cintas Eco-Apparel Diverts 17 Million Plastic Bottles from Landfill

Business services provider Cintas Corporation has announced that it diverted more than 17 million 16.9-ounce plastic bottles from landfills in 2012 through the production of its EcoGeneration uniform line. This represents a 13 percent increase over the company’s 2011 totals.

Cintas also reduced greenhouse gas emissions, water and solid waste production, energy use and fuel emissions through its document management and fire protection services.

The company recently launched a new corn-based apparel line and also offers apparel made from recycled polyester fiber. The clothing saves energy and limits the use of harsh dry cleaning chemicals since many of the pieces can be laundered at home, Cintas says. Customers can choose from sustainable tops, bottoms, scrubs and washable tuxedos.

Cintas Document Management provides secure shredding services in which all shredded paper is recycled. In 2012, this division helped keep more than 330,000 tons of paper from being landfilled. The shredded paper is delivered to a paper mill to be recycled into secondary paper products such as paper towels and tissue.

According to The Paper Calculator, this process saves more than 7.9 million trees and 10.7 million BTUs of energy. The process also eliminates 1.8 billion pounds of CO2, 7.5 billion gallons of wastewater and 6.3 million pounds of solid waste from being produced, Cintas says.

Cintas’ fire protection division created sustainability savings by incorporating lighter-weight and more fuel-efficient service vehicles into its fleet and reducing the number of round-trip service visits, more than 322,000 gallons of fuel were saved. Fire extinguisher servicing also recycled more than 325,000 aluminum and steel extinguisher valve stems.

According to Cintas’ latest sustainability report, which was released in January, the company halved the amount of energy used in its laundry process. Innovations like heat-air reclamation helped the company with the reduction. Cintas laundry facilities now have heat re-claimers that capture about 95 percent of previously wasted heat from boilers, allowing the company to eliminate much of the energy formerly required to heat incoming water.

Cintas also reduced garment drying time by as much as 50 percent using moisture measurement methods, saving significant amounts of fossil fuel and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the report says. The Cintas report does not detail over what time period the reductions were made or provide yearly figures for energy use in its laundry processes.

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