York University's Custodial Services staff are deep into clean with environmentally safe products

Balancing being green and clean takes dedication and training. When you consider an institution as large as York University and layer on the complications of a global pandemic, the focus on both areas needs to be laser sharp.

York University’s custodial staff are sustainability champions who are dedicated, trained professionals committed to providing quality, efficient and environmentally sound services to ensure the safety and well-being of the University community. This focus on excellence and sustainability has provided the foundation for staff to meet the extraordinary challenges associated with a pandemic. They are following the guidelines and recommendations from the public health agencies, intensifying their sanitizing activities, including adding new equipment to their cleaning arsenal with EcoLogo-certified products.

Custodial staff collage of their cleaning activities for Sustainable YU special issue of YFile

Custodial Services staff showcase their commitment to sustainability and keeping the University community safe through the use of EcoLogo-certified cleaning products

Custodial Services uses VERT-2-GO, EcoLogo-certified products in support of the University’s values and commitment to sustainability. The raw materials used in these products are made from renewable sources. Materials are free of hazard warnings and can be used without personal protective equipment. They reduce toxicity to humans and aquatic life; they provide dual action cleaning power, which means cleaning surfaces while working in drains and pipes, and they also eliminate odours instead of simply masking them.

EcoLogo-certified products are environmentally conscious and Health Canada approved. In addition, Vert-2-Go EcoLogo SABER spray and disposable wipes offer a powerful disinfectant that kills germs and bacteria within five minutes. These products are used by custodial staff and other community members on classroom podiums/lecterns, tables and desk surfaces, phones and computer keys boards, customer-facing counters and plexi-glass shields, door handles, plates and glass, light switch plates, stairwell railings, elevator buttons and other high-touch, flat surfaces.

The custodial team also uses the Clorox Total 360 System – Clorox Total 360® Disinfectant Cleaner in its electrostatic disinfecting sprayers and misting equipment, including electric, battery and hand pump systems. Both the system and the disinfectant cleaner have been proven to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus in two minutes. The electrostatic disinfecting sprayers and misting equipment are used in the common areas, seating, stairwell railings, walls and other high-capacity areas. The newly acquired cleaning equipment includes an ECO mode that allows for noise reduction during cleaning in those spaces that would be adversely affected by increased noise levels.

VERT-2-GO, EcoLogo certified products used at York University:

  • Everyday Disinfectant,
  • Saber Disinfectant spray and disposable wipes,
  • Unscented neutral floor cleaner,
  • OXY Low-Foam Heavy Duty cleaner,
  • All-Purpose Cleaner,
  • Washroom Cleaner,
  • Glass Cleaner,
  • Bio Drain Treatment and Bio Odour Control,
  • X-Pure Hand Sanitizer (currently being used in the refillable hand sanitizer dispensers) 72 per cent ethyl alcohol based,
  • Foam Hand Soap,
  • Paper products made from 100 per cent recycled content for both hand towels and toilet paper.
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