Fort Mill Times

Clover schools going green

CLOVER -- The Clover School District is growing greener.

The district recently converted its janitorial products to more environmentally-friendly ones.

It was a clean transition and they incurred little additional cost for the product switch, said Ken Love, finance and facilities officer.

Love said the decision to change cleaning chemicals was part of a district-wide push to "go green."

"The primary incentive for the change was that we build buildings that are as green as possible," Love said. "In that shift, we added custodial items, which should also be green. An environmental issue was at the root of the decision."

Love said the new products were "comparably priced" to the less environmentally- friendly brands.

"We've seen some specific items cost more, but we won't know the total cost difference until ultimately looking over all the numbers at the end of the school year," Love said.

The school district purchased a Hillyard Clean Assist line of Green Seal Certified general cleaners from Interstate Supply of Rock Hill. Companies endure an extensive evaluation to gain a Green Seal Certification.

Once Green Seal sets a standard, companies apply for certification. Test data is gathered for environmental and performance requirements, the manufacturing facility is visited to ensure future products meet the standard and the business is monitored annually once certified, according to Green Seal's Web site, greenseal.org.

Alex Denton, Interstate Supply sales representative, said Winthrop University also uses the products and York Technical College is in the process of switching over its janitorial supplies.

Another benefit is the softer smell that accompanies the new products, which benefits students, teachers and custodians who frequently inhale the fumes.

"It has a softer smell for the workers and occupants of the building," he said. "It also benefits the environment, because of its lower toxicity."

Phillip Taylor, custodial manager for Clover School District, agreed that the products aren't as strong as those used before the district fully stocked green supplies.

"In green products, they eliminate a lot of the smells," Taylor said. "I have worked with green products in the past, and really liked them. They have really pleasant smells."

Taylor said initial use of the cleaner was positive, but it will not be clear if the products clean better than previous products until the school year ends.

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