It has been claimed that commercial laundries may be one of the major contributor to environmental problems in the United States. While this is difficult to evaluate, it does carry an element of truth when one contemplates the vast number of settings in which such laundries are found, including motels, hotels, nursing homes, prisons, universities, hospitals, and so on. Per current estimates, each pound of laundry uses approximately three gallons of water, which ends up in the sewer.
Commercial laundries, often referred to as “On Premise Laundries” (OPLs), or industrial laundries, are operated much the same today as 50 years ago, with little change, and virtually no conservation innovation. The laundry machinery manufacturers have not proven to be innovators of conservation as this industry has not demanded conservation from them. Although laundries consume large amounts of both energy and water, conservation opportunities in this arena are relatively untapped, thus, ripe for the introduction of new technologies that can meet the industry’s reliability and cost-effectiveness expectations. These expectations are high; few of the previously introduced technology innovations have lived up to these expectations, somewhat tarnishing the image of water and energy conservation among OPLs.