Quest Head Custodian’s latest initiative is another step toward a more ecofriendly campus.
What inspired you to switch out things like soap, towels, and dispensers—and how are the new ones better for the environment?
The old systems were ten years old and starting to fail, so we looked for replacements that would be more ecofriendly. We turned to Swish, a family-owned maintenance and product distribution company focused on clean, safe and healthy living environments.
The foam soap dispensers release only 1/3 as much as the old, liquid dispensers did. Custodians no longer have to free-pour liquid soap, which used to lead to wasted product. Foam soap also doesn’t need water to create lather, because it’s infused with air each time you pump, which increases its volume tenfold. And because the soap is already lathered, you use less water washing your hands.
Our all-purpose cleansing system is also new, and uses just two products. It reduces the amount of harmful chemicals our custodians and community are exposed to, and includes a neutral disinfectant that reduces the risks of spreading germs.
Paper towels to dry your hands are now precut. Try to use just one. People don’t think that grabbing two is a big deal, but it is. One piece will do the trick if you flick your fingers a couple of times into the sink! Our new toilet-paper line is coreless, which means it’s not creating any waste. And it’s still two-ply, so no one will notice a difference!
This is all part of a trend for custodial services at Quest. We’ve been making environmentally conscious changes for five years—like switching to mostly eco-friendly products, reusable microfiber cloths for cleaning, more efficient vacuums for better air quality, and new floor-washing equipment that uses less water than traditional systems and leaves behind cleaner floors.
What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we face?
At Quest, the biggest issue is waste reduction, diversion and education. I think the students will be pleasantly surprised when they return to see all the progress we’ve made this summer.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Quest?
Being part of this ground-breaking, inspiring education, even if my part is just keeping it as clean as possible! Watching students develop into unique, strong, passionate adults is amazing. Plus, I get to teach them a thing or two about life skills along the way, which makes me proud. I feel that all my past work history, including being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, prepared me for Quest. I look forward to every day here!