Rolla Public Schools district, located in Rolla, Missouri, serves more than 4,000 students. The district has more than 700,000 square feet of school and office space that is maintained by 34 janitors.
In 1997, the district began, what it calls the Cleaning for Health program. This was at a time when green cleaning was in its infancy but an appropriate time, according to the district, to start taking steps to help improve the health and of their facilities and the students and staff that use them every day. Among the steps the district took include:
- Eliminate products with high volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Installed high performance matting systems to help reduce soil load in their facilities
- Began reviewing all of the cleaning equipment used in the district with the goal of selecting more environmentally responsible products
- Developed a green statement policy, something that was way ahead of its time. The “statement” said that the district was committed to improving the health of their facilities, using cleaning chemicals, tools, and equipment that were both effective and protective of the environment
According to Dr. Arron Zalis, the “greening” of the district’s facilities was a slow process that included many changes and several steps evolving over many years. It included such things as:
- The use of green cleaning products
- Implementing cleaning procedure and practices that are recognized as part of an effective green cleaning program
- Selecting recycled paper and plastic products
- Implementing a Day Cleaning program
- Selecting cleaning equipment that helps protect the indoor environment.
However, they were eventually rewarded for all the work, time, and energy they put into the program. In 2013, they were honored to be the recipient of the 2013 Silver Award for K-12 schools sponsored by the Green Cleaning Network, the Healthy Schools Campaign, and a leading publication for the education industry.
Tornado, makers of professional cleaning equipment, is proud to have helped the Rolla Public Schools win this prestigious award. The district selected three machines manufactured by Tornado that are known to be environmentally responsible. These included the CV-30 vacuum cleaner, an upright vacuum cleaner that has earned the Carpet and Rug Institutes Seal of Approval because, among other things, its true-HEPA filtration system designed to trap and contain fine particulate and dust to help improve indoor air quality and reduce the redistribution of potentially harmful particles and allergens into the air.
The district also selected Tornado’s PV 6 backpack vacuum cleaner that is also HEPA filtered and exceptionally quiet – making it perfect for the districts Day Cleaning program – and the BR Vario Compact Scrubber. The Vario is one of the products Tornado is most famous for. The system uses cylindrical brushes that make it exceptionally effective at cleaning porous, grouted, and uneven floors. However, tests indicate it also uses less water and chemical than conventional rotary systems, making it more sustainable and environmentally responsible as well.
“We choose our [cleaning] equipment carefully,” says Christopher Headrick custodial Supervisor for Rolla Public Schools, “making sure it provided excellent productivity, quiet operation and the environmental features we were looking for as part of our green cleaning program.”