Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Recycling Expectations of Customers!

Over the Memorial Day weekend in 2011, Ken Farrington made a startling announcement to the members of the North Carolina Association of Launderers and Cleaners gathered at Atlantic Beach, NC.

N.S Farrington & Company, the more than sixty-year-old company started by his parents and still based in Winston-Salem, NC is today the distributor of supplies to dry cleaning businesses throughout North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and parts of Georgia.

Based on an analysis of studies revealing the recycling values and expectations of dry cleaning customers, Farrington announced that day that as of mid-2011, his company would become one of only two distributors in the United States to also offer recycling of poly film, the protective covering used by dry cleaners so customers can transport their clothes home.

In just 18 months, 130 of the company’s 1,400 customers are already participating. This includes Regency where I have my clothes cleaned here in Durham, NC, the company that acquired the 83-year-old White Star.

This means Farrington is already recycling about 2-3% of what it distributes in virgin poly film.  The poly and other recyclable plastic is currently bundled off to a company in Indiana which then recycles it back into fencing, decking, soft drink crates and other products.

Participants such as Regency are given a collection kit including a container reminding customers that for “every ton of poly film that is collected will save the equivalent of:

  • 17 trees,
  • 380 gallons of oil,
  • 7000 gallons of clean water,
  • 4100 kilowatt hours of electricity, or
  • 89 cubic feet of landfill.”

Customers can also drop off plastic grocery bags at participating dry cleaners.  This isn’t Farrington’s first venture into recycling on behalf of dry cleaning businesses.  It also provides the little caddies for collecting and returning used hangers as well as recycled paper shoulder covers and bags.

Hats off to N.S. Farrington & Co. and Ken and his brother!  The only question is if this company is making it so convenient, why aren’t its other 1,270 customers participating?

Maybe you should ask when you drop off your cleaning!

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