Dry cleaners and industrial laundries
The textile care industry, including dry cleaners and industrial laundries, is continually changing. In the past few years, more and more states have considered enacting legislation to phase out the use of perchloroethylene (PERC) solvent at dry cleaners, or increase the compliance requirements to prevent environmental contamination. Industrial laundries servicing print or shop towels are regulated due to the solvents in the materials being laundered. The DNR is here not only to provide dry cleaning and laundry owners support through compliance assistance, but also to provide valuable resources to increase your company’s bottom line, expand on your customer base, save time as well as money, and stay ahead of the legislative curve.
Industrial laundry emissions
Materials laundered by industrial laundries can contain substantial amounts of VOCs from solvents when laundering print or shop towels, however uniforms and rugs or hospitality related materials are likely to have only incidental solvent content, if any. The DNR created a fact sheet for Industrial Laundry Facilities (AM-561) to describe how to estimate emissions and determine whether an air permit may be required.
Dry cleaning compliance calendar
The DNR biannually puts together a compliance calendar to assist Wisconsin dry cleaners with compliance. It provides a guide to regulations as well as a way to keep track of documentation and ensure all your business’ records can be found in one place.
- 2022-2023 cover letter (SB-200-Cover)
- 2022-2023 Dry Cleaning Compliance Calendar (SB-200)
- 2022 Perc Solvent Purchase Summary (SB-200-B)
- 2023 Perc Solvent Purchase Summary (SB-200-C)
Training on waste management and air pollution
In February 2020, DNR staff conducted a webinar with Wisconsin Fabricare Institute (WFI) that went through key requirements that dry cleaners might be missing on their hazardous waste requirements as well as a few air pollution requirements. To view the webinar, go to the WFI home page and click on the link below the slideshow: Wisconsin Fabricare Institute (WFI).
Information on PERC requirements
The Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Fund (DERF) Program was established to help dry cleaners pay the cost of investigating and cleaning up contamination caused by the release of dry cleaning solvents. They put together a fact sheet on dry cleaning Facility Requirements to Minimize Spills (RR-636).
The EPA requires that all dry cleaners must conduct monthly inspections for perchloroethylene (PCE) leaks using a halogenated hydrocarbon detector or PCE gas analyzer.
For a short summary of requirements in Korean: Basic Air Pollution Monitoring for Small Dry Cleaners (Korean) (SB-200-A).
Each year shops are required to file a report by March 1: Annual Perc Usage Report (SB-200-D)
Plastic bags used to cover dry cleaned items may be recycled. Learn more on Reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bags and wrap. Maybe you have space to provide a collection bin.
If not already doing so, consider recycling common office equipment that may be found in your shop. Learn about Business and workplace recycling.
General compliance assistance
For more resources to help your dry cleaning establishment comply with environmental regulations and improve your environmental footprint, please visit the following website:
- EPA's Dry Cleaning Sector
Best management practices
Helpful tips to enhance the bottom line and save money
If you're looking to save money and resources in a particular area, check out the below guides and initiatives.
- Managing Energy Costs in Dry Cleaners
- Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative offers recognition for your business if you use a safer detergent in washing clothes.
Consider utilizing or selling green resources
With the number of consumers demanding green products, services and industries increasing each year, businesses incorporating sustainability into their practices are finding an increased customer base and enhanced bottom line through the formulation of a competitive advantage. Providing reusable or biodegradable garment bags and reusing or recycling hangers are just a couple of the many things you can do to green your business.
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program reviewed alternative cleaning technologies.
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at University of Massachusetts has evaluated numerous solvents and compared aspects, both cleaning ability and environmental impacts.
The Kansas Small Business Environmental Assistance Program conducted a wet cleaning case study.
Good Housekeeping conducted independent testing on various dry cleaning solvent methods comparing the cleaning capabilities of each. Their results can be found at the Good Housekeeping website.
For more information on loans, grants and other programs designed to help small businesses, see the financial resources pages.