By Amanda Tolentino
Cutting down on chemical use in dining halls is a goal Baylor dining services aims to accomplish over the next few weeks.
Brett Perlowski, director of dining services, said the dining services staff will use a new machine called the Orbio 5000-SC for water used to clean floors, carpets and tables.
The Orbio 5000-SC is part of an initiative called the Blue Cleaning program which is meant to reduce chemical use.
Perlowski said the Orbio equipment has not been installed yet, but it should be shipped tomorrow and installed next week. He estimated the Blue Cleaning program should be ready by mid-October.
Perlowski said the Orbio 5000-SC will use split-stream technology that electrically charges tap water into a cleaning solution without using chemical properties. The dining services staff will pour water into a 40-gallon cart and the machine will split the water into alkaline and acidic elements. The machine will drain the acidic solution out and then transfer the alkaline solution into the equipment’s storage tank. The alkaline solution attracts dirt and sanitizes the surface area.
“Dining services is responsible for the high-traffic floor spaces [in the dining halls],” Perlowski said. “Orbio will serve as the proprietary technology of electrically charging water.”
Baylor dining services has used the split-stream technology for a few years by using spray bottles with the same concept of electrically charging water in RFoC at memorial.
“The spray bottles were $300 a bottle and were not practical,” Perlowski said.
The Orbio technologies website states the cleaning solution is certified by the National Floor Safety Institute for reducing the potential of slip-and-fall accidents.
“The product sells itself,” Perlowski said. “It was an investment upfront but will ultimately save money. It will be less physically demanding for the employees.”
Perlowski said the dining services staff will no longer have to wring out the mops they currently use. Instead, the Orbio equipment will have a microfiber mop-pad to take the place of a traditional mop.
“The microfiber mop-pad is able to cover a couple 100 square feet, and once it is done, it is put in the laundry,” Perlowski said.
The Orbio will be stored in Penland dining hall because it has the largest janitorial space, but it will be moved across campus to other dining halls when they need cleaning.
Dining services will continue to use chemicals to clean areas such as kitchen ovens, but Perlowski said the Orbio cleaning solution will be able to remove items such as residual grease in order to improve kitchen conditions.
Sustainability coordinator Smith Getterman said people should be concerned not only with the chemicals that go into their food but also the chemicals around the areas where they eat.
“Any time we can reduce chemicals in the dining halls is an improvement,” Getterman said.
Perlowski said the Orbio equipment is a movement toward efficiency for dining services.
“A personal goal for me is to create better looking facilities for the staff and students,” Perlowski said. “We have to take on leadership of social responsibility. This is a small step to assist sustainability.”