Terrible Virus Is Killing People… Is Hurting Our Industry Badly…

…Should We Keep Up With Poundage Sheets?

Once upon a day way back when… few operators bothered with record keeping in a drycleaning or laundry plant. Back in the day of the big operators, there was little time for anything – let alone any bookkeeping. But bookkeeping habits are something one either enjoys or not. Frankly, I never minded it. Most of my customers that I did environmental inspections for, did not want to fool with it or they would not have hired me. It is the first thing I will hit you with when I walk in the door. If you don’t practice sound record keeping today, you are setting yourself up for a fall. Mr. Inspector will eventually find his way into your plant looking for records and that is when all things come to a grinding halt. Especially if you get a nasty Nazi type inspector. But they are only doing their job. Be nice and patient and they will usually afford you the same.

Leaving My Beloved Texas

I had my house up for sale recently in Amarillo as we destine to return to my wife’s hometown of Phoenix. We should be settling in by May. Naturally, the prospective owners of our home wanted/needed a house inspector to satisfy lender and banker requirements. This fella I got for an inspector raked me over the coals. I had everything in order, and nothing was broken in my house. Yet he seemed to want to be empowered with a sense of importance. If I questioned any of his ways, we got into a friendly tangle. It made me realize how tough it was on drycleaners that have been subject to inspections by the various arms of Mr. EPA. Bless drycleaners who go through tough inspections. 

This Terrible Virus

This terrible virus that is going around is threatening all industries and especially our industry. I am thankful the government (so far) is viewing our industry as a “necessity.” How long can that last? I am not am alarmist nor do I think there is a government conspiracy around our businesses or anything else for that matter. But we need to brace ourselves for what might become the inevitable in plant closing. Once again, our industry is on guard to operate legally and efficiently or more small plants will close forever. I read the blogs and different social media surrounding us and clearly drycleaners, launderers, wetcleaners and laundromat businesses are at risk and on alert. Commercial laundry will go down at hotels and our profit margins are shrinking. I hate to write about gloom, but I believe in being a realist and keeping a close eye on our future. Thankfully all the drycleaning associations as well as linen, commercial laundry and associations like your state one, DLI and TCATA is ready to give us advice and stay on top of this matter.

Why Not Comply?

I began doing inspections and major EPA work when I landed in San Diego around 1990 to the quaint village of Lemon Grove, east of San Diego. The California EPA began their new revision of the ATCM regulations on stricter perc rules and the Clean Air Act of 1991. I also did a lot of inspections for insurance companies. The regulations have not let up any in California or other states. Perc is still allowed in many other states and yet I still find cleaning plants with perc that are not adhering to the federal regulations. Any and all waste matter, solid or liquid, are considered hazardous material. Keeping good records including poundage sheets, is imperative. Sooner or later Mr. Inspector will find his way to your plants. Even if you use alternative solvents, you can be sure that regulations will eventually hit them too. All of these (what I consider simple rules) will follow you for the rest of your life. Why not comply?

I truly wish I had better, more positive news for you but everyone must know by now that we are in a serious crisis. We have more time to work on record keeping so let’s get to it. I honestly hope you all survive this problem with the virus. I hope you will remain open another hundred years. But don’t let too much optimism cloud common sense. Plan for the future, friends.

I’m headin’ to the wagon now, these boots are killin’ me.

About Kenney Slatten

Kenney Slatten Training Company is a Dry Cleaning and Laundry Consulting Firm Specializing in Environmental Training and Certification. Kenney Slatten Training Company, or KSTC, is based in Texas with offices in Arizona and California. Kenney Slatten is a certified instructor/trainer for the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), is actively involved in the San Diego Drycleaners Association, the California Cleaners Association, is an Allied Trade board member of DLI, the Executive Director of Western States Drycleaners & Launderers Association, a member of the International Drycleaners Congress, and a columnist for American Drycleaner and Western Cleaner and Launderer magazines. The Kenney Slatten Training Company provides the only complete environmental training and inspection process. Started in 1987, Kenny became the first instructor for California E.P.A, OSHA, and state regulations. Kenney publishes a 36 point plant requirement every year in trade publications which is his guide for plant training and certification. We are the only company that provides dry cleaning and laundry specific environmental training. Kenney Slatten is a third generation drycleaner/laundryman from Houston, Texas. His company, KSTC, can teach you the skills you need to have a successful plant. His wagon is found all over the country parked under a tree just waiting for the next call to come to your plant. He can be reached at (800) 429-3990; e-mail: kslatten@aol.com or go to: www. kstraining.com.