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I had what I call, a bit of a ‘head in hands’ moment when I came to write this leader… Many of us have had a break over the past couple of weeks to enjoy Christmas and celebrate the coming of 2016. The fireworks routinely set off by so many countries now, as one year becomes the next, have been even more spectacular than those we enjoyed last year, yet alongside that, millions of people were (and still are) going though turmoil, from the families displaced by the growing global conflicts, to – closer to home – those who are fighting to salvage what they can from flooded homes and businesses.
I’ve been following the floods closely as I have family in the most badly hit parts of the UK and although I can see that it looks miserable, it was only when I was caught out walking in heavy rain last week that it occurred to me just how cold those affected must be! And then of course came the question: “Are we spending our money wisely, or should we spend less on fireworks and more on looking after everyone and upgrading our nation’s flood defences so we can prevent this recurring misery for those living in flood zones?”
Linking the two extremes are the cleaning crews (they get everywhere, don’t they?). This New Year’s Eve I started a discussion amongst friends about whether we’d prefer to be cleaning up after the floods or cleaning up after those who’ve gathered in the cities to watch the fireworks… many of them having drunk far too much alcohol which has led to vomiting, urinating and brawling in the streets – not to mention the littering which isn’t just paper but which comprises filthy food packaging, bits of food and broken glass. It ended up being pretty evenly matched but we all agreed that a cleaner’s job is not an easy one. They’re out there in all weathers, dealing with the mess the rest of us leave without thought, making things safe for us again while often (at best) being ignored but sadly, sometimes being abused, as they go about their work.
Perhaps we should start a ‘hug a cleaner’ campaign?
With that thought, may John and I wish you a happy 2016… “May all the good things you wish for, come your way”.
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This Week's News
Essential to any clean-up are black sacks and they are required in their thousands in Carlisle following the recent floods. BPI Recycled Products has teamed up with Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies to donate and distribute free of charge, 43,000 capacity sacks to the Carlisle Floods SOS Appeal.
The sacks will be distributed to homeowners who have become victims of the recent floods.
As large parts of the UK continue to suffer flood damage caused by the recent heavy downpours, BCB International, the award-winning Cardiff-based survival equipment company is encouraging UK residents and businesses to consider using its 'Sandbagger' to help protect their properties.
In the last issue of Cleanzine we revealed that staff from one of the Founder Members of the Cleaning & Support Services Association, Julius Rutherfoord, would be supporting 'Crisis at Christmas' over the holidays.
It wasn't about donating cash or raising funds for the charity though, but about providing free cleaning for several of the charity's centres set up to give some warmth, cheer, a shower, a haircut, a change of clothes, a Christmas lunch and some specialist support for some of London's homeless.
"Those who did not participate in 2015 can contribute to different events and campaigns in 2016," says the association's Jenna Arnold.
The CSSA is starting 2016 with a recruitment drive to attract new members, and is offering 'Founding Member' status for those who join before the official launch on 1st February.
2015 was a year for environmental awareness as companies and governments became abundantly aware of issues like climate change and extreme weather events, with proposals in place to tackle them head on - the recent COP21 talks in Paris have been a major international step forward.
This means industries are shifting towards greener products - helping to lower hazardous emissions and move to a more environmentally-friendly solution.
"In our environmentally conscious world, ecological issues are becoming an everyday fact of life. Scientists are revealing greater risks and looming disasters to both ourselves and our planet, and at the same time developing new products and initiatives to minimise mankind's negative environmental impact.
Betco has announced its first innovation of 2016 - the MotoMop small area cleaning machine. "This year, drop the mop and ban the bucket and grab the most important innovation in small area cleaning!" it challenges.
"Buyers who make assumptions about the quality of the plastic sacks they purchase are taking a big risk," explains Mike Stubbs, chairman of the Manufacturing Standards Accreditation Scheme for Plastic Refuse Sacks.
As part of its mission to change the way the world views cleaning, ISSA is partnering with the Building Service Contractors Association International to strengthen ties with the Chinese cleaning industry.
As part of this commitment, ISSA executive director John Barrett and BSCAI President Paul Greenland, CBSE, recently met with several organisations in China to explore opportunities and forge stronger partnerships.
Paulina Amely Stuth swapped the classroom for a job for one day and donated her salary to social projects, as part of last year's European Cleaning Days series. The 15-year old pupil, who studies at Boehlen Grammar School in Leipzig decided to seize the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at cleaning & municipal technology dealer Schlotte GmbH in Leipzig.
Within the framework of the campaign 'genialsozial' (brilliantly social), Paulina was one of 20,000 Saxon pupils getting acquainted with working life and collecting money for charity projects under the motto: 'Your work against poverty'.
Propelair, the UK toilet manufacturer that has revolutionised toilet flushing with a system using air and only 1.5 litres of water, is celebrating the start of its third year with a string of major installations and a busy order book for 2016 - including such iconic buildings as The Lyceum Theatre - now showing The Lion King.
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Recent UK News
The boss of a leading recruitment agency for the food and drink/hospitality/cleaning industry has warned the sector that it needs to prepare for the impact of the new, compulsory National Living Wage.
London specialist in quality cleaning, Julius Rutherfoord, is supporting the charity Crisis at Christmas by providing free cleaning for several of its London centres helping the homeless over Christmas.
Operation Magnify is targeting the construction and care home sectors as well as cleaning contractors, as these are thought to be some of the most likely industries that illegal workers are to be found - along with the restaurant sector.
This is the first time in the Awards' 28-years-history that a cleaning company has achieved this top award and was in recognition of the company being awarded Platinum Awards for every one of its entries.
Refuse collections and street cleaning are amongst the services set to suffer as Lancashire County Council tries to reduce its spend by £4.7m.
Deputy leader Cllr Tony Greaves, who oversees the council's finances, told the Lancashire Telegraph: "The government is again slashing our grants and councils like ours in the north of England, are among the worst hit. We're looking at different ways to cut our spending and raise our income, but we're now very close to being forced to stop doing some quite important things."
EU labelling requirements for vacuum cleaners have already been much debated - but, in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, it is worth nothing that vacuum cleaner manufacturers self-test and self-validate so it is all too easy for results to be fudged and skewed to present products in an advantageous light.
Added to this, the tests themselves are unrepresentative of real world cleaning scenarios so magnify the confusion in the market place. Quite simply, the whole process is somewhat unbelievable and pointless.
The map displays the exact location of over 780 toilets across the UK and then expand the information to show opening and closing times, as well as vital information on the overall provision within each toilet for their specialised needs.
East Staffordshire Borough Council has taken delivery of four Citymaster 1600 machines from Gullivers Truck Hire that will help keep the area's streets, car parks and pedestrian areas looking spick and span.
Events & Exhibitions
ISSA North America
Loo of the Year Awards
Future of Surfactants Summit
Budapest Cleaning Show