ICS Magazine

Ashkin says comment taken out of context

February 1, 2010

Bloomington, IN – January 31, 2010 - Stephen Ashkin, Executive Director of the Green Cleaning Network and President of The Ashkin Group, Bloomington, Indiana, reports that a January 27 comment he made to an Associated Press reporter was taken out of context.

Ashkin, a renowned expert in environmentally responsible cleaning, was asked about his thoughts regarding a Green Cleaning bill approved by the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday.

The proposed legislation would require the state’s schools to use environmentally preferable cleaning and paper products.

Ashkin referred to the legislation as “innovative” and commented that it has received his wholehearted support.

“This bill moves beyond just [the use of] Green Cleaning products to addressing the entire cleaning process so that it is healthier for students, staff, and cleaning personnel, with less impact on the environment,” he says. “This is the next step in Green Cleaning in school legislation.”

However, the news story also quoted Ashkin as saying that toilet paper, trash bags, and paper towels made from recycled materials can cost up to 20 percent more than traditional products.

“The reporter did not include my entire comment,” says Ashkin. “I also explained that even though these products may be more costly, focusing on the entire cleaning process, schools can actually reduce the total cost of cleaning by reducing consumption and finding other synergies.”

As an example, Ashkin explained that the cost of recycled paper towels can help lower costs when conventional, individually folded paper towels are replaced with recycled paper towels dispensed from large rolls.

“A facility can reduce paper consumption by as much as 30 percent when converting to these towels,” says Ashkin. “So even if it does cost more, because less is used it can actually save schools a lot of money.”

Ashkin adds that the AP reporter “did a good job with the article” and appreciated his interest in the story, the innovation of this bill, and what its passage will mean to students, staff, and the environment as well as taxpayers.