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Team A’s Mini-project Case Study

In February 2015, Shining Knight Facility Services began a Green Cleaning Program with their core management team. Dividing into three competing teams, each group took on a mini-project that would change a simple product or process, then monitor and measure the sustainable outcomes.Team A chose to reduce waste by replacing the high use of disposable gloves with reusable silver-lined gloves. Would it use less rubber and cost less money – or would it be a waste of time? This is what Team A’s project set out to answer.

 

Team:

Team A were Jason, Paul, Ricky and Christine. Each had a different role to play, but Ricky led the team on the ground.

Stakeholders:

Team A stakeholders included the City of Kingston facility manager, where this project was conducted, and the after-hours cleaning crew.

Process:

For one month they counted the total volume of disposable gloves being used carrying out cleaning duties. In the following month they switched to reusable gloves, and monitored the results closely to prevent the project from failing.

Challenges:

At the end of a shift, and often during a shift, disposable gloves are thrown away. Hands get sweaty and gloves get wet. It is unhygienic and unpleasant to put on a dirty and damp reusable glove – especially if used by someone else! Therefore there was a high risk that the reusable gloves would be thrown away as well.

Strategies:

A critical success factor in this project, was installing a clothes rack on which to peg the gloves, inside out to dry. The names of the worker who used it was written on the inside. A second factor was the removal of all disposable gloves from site. In this project, it was the systems that supported and changed the behavior.

Outcomes:

Because at 82 cents, a silver-lined reusable glove is so much more expensive than a disposable 5 cent glove, and weighs almost 10 times more, it was doubtful whether the results would be positive. But the glove washing and drying system ensured that the reusable gloves lasted 2 weeks before they needed replacing. Cleaning cloths are also hung up to dry, improving their hygiene and durability.

Results:

The results of five cleaners changing to reusable gloves were really impressive:

◊ In 1 month, they saved $18.55 and prevented 2.6 kilos of rubber from being thrown away.

◊ In six months, this strategy is projected to save a total of $111.30 and prevent 15.8 kilos of rubber from ending up in landfill – from one site only. That’s the same amount of rubber in two average car tires!

“The system supported and changed the behaviour