Cleaning Buildings Near NYC Ground Zero
The Trinity buildings, located at 111 and 115 Broadway, just one block from the site of the collapsed World Trade Center in New York City, were immersed in a giant cloud of smoke, dust and debris following the destruction of the two towers on September 11.

The windows on the north side of 115 Broadway were broken from flying debris, forcing dust and smoke into the otherwise undamaged structure.

“The buildings were saved from severe smoke damage,” says Mike Conlon, Munters New York City district manager, “because management turned off the HVAC system after One World Trade Center was hit. By doing so, the system wasn’t running during the collapse, and thus did not draw in additional smoke and dust.”

Munters helped the building’s management clean the air inside the offices using a two-part process for removing the debris and smoke damage, so occupants would return to work.

The first part of the process consisted of setting up air scrubbers, which contain both particulate and HEPA filters that are capable of cleaning extremely small particles from the air, then they built an air moving system on 20 of the buildings’ floors to circulate the interior air through them.

The second part of the process, designed to eliminate the smoky smell from the buildings, involved using wet and dry fogging processes. “A chemical agent is turned into a fog by application equipment,” says Conlon. “This dry fog permeates all the nooks and crannies of the sealed area, neutralizing the smell of smoke. Where more appropriate, our technicians spray on a wet fog to eliminate the smoky odor.”

“This was not a typical cleanup job, because smoke continued to blow in from the disaster site,” Conlon says. “Seven weeks later and the fires are still burning. But every situation is different; all jobs have their own particular problems, you just handle them as they come along.”

New Vacuum Developed for Mold/Bacteria Remediation
Minuteman International, Inc., has designed a vacuum and decontamination chamber to be used separately or together for dry biohazard remediation.

The company claims its Bio-Haz Vac can remove and contain hazardous molds, such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus and Penicillium, as well as infectious bacterium such as Staphylococcus and spore-forming bacterium such as Bacillus anthracis. This is done through a five-stage filter utilizing an ultra-low particle air (ULPA) filter, capable of 99.999 percent efficiency at 0.12-micron size particles.

The vacuum can be used to create negative pressure inside the Bio-Haz Decon Chamber to allow handling and inspection of contaminated items without releasing questionable particles into the air.

Erring on the Safe Side
A Brigham Young University janitor recently showed the importance of training cleaners in proper emergency response measures to avoid hysteria.

Not long after the University’s administration sent a safety advisement to students, staff and faculty outlining steps they should take if they encountered a suspicious package or letter, a custodian found an envelope holding a powdery substance, bearing the words, “Death To America,” in a classroom trash can. Wearing rubber gloves, he immediately covered the envelope and called campus police.

A risk-management crew sealed and removed the trash can and sent it to a state lab to determine if any dangerous substances were inside.

After questioning a few professors, investigators found that the envelope was used as a prop the previous day in a class discussing anthrax scares and hoaxes. When the presentation was done, they threw the envelope in the trash.

“The janitor followed everything that needed to be done,” said BYU spokeswoman Carri P. Jenkins. “He did the right thing. He never touched the envelope, and reported the incident to security personnel immediately.”

The U.S. Postal Service offers a free poster offering tips for handling suspicious items for businesses.

Mergers&Other Moves

  • Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings added three of Pacific Steamex’s carpet-care machines to its Approved Equipment List for carpet care. Pacific’s Genius™ vacuum, the Aura™ wide area vacuum and the HotSpot™ spill and spot remover were all tested and used in cleaning systems recommended by C&A to its customers.
  • CPAC, Inc. announced that its Fuller Brush division has entered into an agreement with TMB Products of St. Louis, MO, a manufacturer and distributor of injection-molded brooms and brushes, to become the exclusive U.S. manufacturer of TMB’s Yellowtop® Brushware products. Fuller also will provide fulfillment and customer service support for all TMB product lines.
  • Capital Cleaning Services, Inc. has formed a strategic alliance with Jupiter Maintenance Company, a janitorial company with more than 10 years experience in the field. The alliance will give Jupiter better technical support and resources to service its customers, and will provide the company’s employees with growth and development opportunities.
  • Pacific Steamex unveiled its new corporate identity and logo at the ISSA/Interclean show in Orlando Fla. in October. The company’s new logo features a vibrant yellow and indigo blue with a dolphin symbolizing its roots along the Pacific coast. The company also dropped “Steamex” from its name to simplify and solidify its brand as simply “Pacific”.
  • In celebration of its 100 year anniversary, the National Paper Trade Association’s board of directors and leadership has approved a name change to reflect the organization’s new direction. The new name, NPTA Alliance, encompasses the Association’s change to a division and alliance structure. The Alliance is the association for the paper, packaging and supplies distribution industry.
  • Network Services Company, a North American supplier of industrial packaging, food service disposables, housekeeping supplies, sanitary maintenance products and printing papers from over 100 of the world’s leading manufacturers, recently announced that Foley Distributing, Rutland, Vt., has joined Network.

CSPA Seeks Clarity on Chemical Weapon Legislation
The New York Legislature is considering two bills (SB 5823 and AB 9453) that would create criminal sanctions for the possession and use of chemical and biological weapons.

Both bills include an express exemption for household, agricultural, industrial and medical products sold to consumers for “purposes not prohibited” by the legislation.

The Consumer Specialty Products Association is actively advocating an amendment to clarify that the broad definition of the terms “chemical weapon” and “biological agent” does not inadvertently include legitimate consumer products, or commercial chemicals used in typical cleaning operations.

Contract Cleaner Cliff’s Notes
Contracting Profits’ October cover story “Business Best Sellers,” which summarized five top business management books has received rave reviews from cleaning contractors. Here are some additional titles to go along with the article:

  • The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber (Harperbusiness, 1995, $16.00/paperback; available on cassette)

    Do entrepreneurs really make the best business people? Gerber establishes a plan for business owners to follow to help get beyond the daily details and into long-range planning.

  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, by James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras (Harperbusiness, 1997, $17.00/paperback; available on cassette)

    The authors compare 18 “visionary” companies to a control group of “successful-but-second-rank” companies. The difference between the top-notch and second-tier? Flexibility.

  • Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, by Kristin Anderson, Ron Zemke (Amacom, 1998, $18.95)

    This and other books in Zemke’s “Knock Your Socks Off” series provide an easy read for front-line service providers and their managers. The series uses cartoons, anecdotes, checklists and other visual aids.

  • The Sale, by Don Hutson. (Executive Books, 1992, $24.95)

    Hutson, a past speaker at BSCAI shows, offers this manual of 25 high-performance selling skills to master — before your competitor does.

  • John Adams, by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster, 2001, $35.00/hardcover; available on cassette and CD)

    This biography of the second president of the United States has been on most of the major non-fiction bestseller lists since its debut in May. It’s on President Bush’s reading list, too.

  • Jack: Straight From the Gut, by Jack Welch and John Byrne (Warner Books, 2001 $29.95/hardcover; available on cassette and CD)

    Welch, outgoing CEO of General Electric, recounts his career and his management style that helped him make GE one of the most successful companies in the 20th century.

  • The Transparent Leader: Spiritual Secrets of 18 Successful Men, by Dwight L. Johnson and Dean Nelson (Harvest House, 2001, $10.99/paperback)

    This collection details the stories of business leaders such as brewing heir Adolph Coors IV, and best-selling author Ken Blanchard. The common thread: These leaders found satisfaction not in the money they made or the status they attained, but in their spiritual lives.