If you read nothing else it is important that you read this
If you are a dry cleaner you should:
- understand what 'cleaner production' means and how it can help you. It is about making more efficient use of the materials and the energy you currently use which in turn will reduce your waste and emissions. If done properly, cleaner production can offer large cost savings to your business as well as improving your environmental performance
- be aware of your environmental 'responsibility'. Inform your staff, suppliers, contractors and customers about what you expect from them to help protect the environment. (See Environmental Legislation)
- regularly check with staff and neighbours about whether they are being affected by odours from your dry cleaning operation. If your staff, neighbours or customers comment on odours, this usually indicates that your dry cleaning equipment and/or procedures are operating inefficiently. This equipment is likely to cause an unsafe work environment. Maintain and service equipment as necessary or consider investing in new equipment, it will probably save you money over time. (Refer to Air Quality Management, contact your industry association or search the Internet under 'industry pollution prevention â€“ materials substitution'.
- make sure that all your products and raw materials are stored away from stormwater drains and in an area that will contain spills or leaks. Know that there are special requirements for the storage of dangerous goods. Have a spill prevention and cleanup procedure in place and ensure your staff are familiar with it. (Refer to Hazardous Materials)
- ensure trade wastewater containing Perchloroethylene (PERC) also known as tetrachloroethylene passes through a suitable solvent recovery unit before it is discharged to the sewer. If in doubt, it is recommended you contact your local water and/or sewerage supplier on whether your existing wastewater treatment is appropriate. Solvents, filter wastes and still bottom wastes are not permitted to be discharged to the sewer. (Refer to Trade Wastewater)
- reduce the amount of solid wastes (such as paper, plastics and metal containers) being disposed of to your waste bin. Separate wastes into different waste types (i.e.'organics', such as food leftovers) and identify waste that can be reduced, reused and/or recycled, such as refillable containers, plastics and paper. Contact your local council to find out if they offer a recycling program for commercial operations or if they have information on alternative local waste recycling schemes. (Refer to Waste Management)
- make inquiries with your industry association and/or product suppliers about alternative equipment, chemicals or processes you could use which result in your dry cleaning operation having less impact on the environment, as well as potentially saving you money.
- reduce noise coming from your premises. Internal noise can be a health issue for your staff, while external noise can be a significant annoyance, and cause for complaints by neighbours. (Refer to Noise Management)
- save money and help the environment by reducing your use of water and energy. Where possible use natural lighting; utilise your boiler better by matching boiler size with steam demand; use environmentally preferred fuels for vehicles, such as gas. (Refer to Energy and Water Use)
- do not hose or sweep any waste material, litter, leaves or other matter into gutters or stormwater drains. By ensuring outdoor areas are free of litter, waste materials and other pollutants you will be ensuring that 'The drain is just for rain'. (Refer to Stormwater Management and General Information)
- follow the Drycleaning Institute of Australia's standard code of practice for improving operational methods, staff training and waste disposal.
- be aware that most pollution offences carry penalties of up to $1 million (plus a daily penalty up to $120,000 for continuing offences) for companies, or $250,000 (plus a daily penalty up to $60,000 for continuing offences) for individuals. (See Environmental Legislation)
- be aware that even very minor breaches of environmental law can result in on-the-spot fines of $1500 for companies and $750 for individuals.
Page last updated: 25 September 2012