Printech Archive
Re: Shop towels: Launderable vs. disposable

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Jeffrey Matusow (
Date: Thu Jan 14 1999 - 19:49:00 CST

Take Your Rags for a Spin
by Terry Poltrack
"Rags to Riches" is what Paul Wavrock, national-sales manager of Maratek
Environmental Technologies Inc. of Bolton, Ontario, dubbed a presentation
about his company's centrifuge/distillation unit, which recovers solvents
from rags used to clean press rollers. Wavrock closed the Health & Safety
segment by echoing Andrew M. Douglas, national equipment manager of
Printer's Service Inc, who earlier had spelled out the units' advantages: a
dramatic lessening of solvent purchases and rag-cleaning costs, and an
equally dramatic reduction in volatile-organic-compound emissions.

Wavrock's STOR unit puts dirtied rags through three cleaning rinses, then
uses a high-speed centrifuge to extract solvent. The extracted, and still
dirty, solvent is then heated, condensed and collected in a clean tank.
Solvents are distilled, and water is extracted. Wavrock claimed a case study
resulted in an average 85 percent solvent recovery. His system begins at

Douglas shared details regarding his PriscoTech SpinKlene and SolveKlene
units. SpinKlene whirls rags at 1,200 Gs of force to recover solvents. Tanks
come in different sizes, handling from 120-to-450 rags. On average, 250 rags
will give up four gallons of solvent in the spinning, he said, and can then
be reused. SolveKlene permits further purification of solvent for general
reuse. Douglas claimed recovery of up to 95 percent of used solvent, cutting
VOC emissions and saving money.

He offered this model: 12,000 rags a year; 9,984 gallons of solvent; a
solvent cost of $5 per gallon; and a VOC level of 6 lbs. per gallon. Using a
"conservative" 90 percent recovery rate, he said, the centrifuge/
distillation system could recapture about

9,000 gallons of solvent, representing 27 tons of VOCs and savings of
$45,000. Subtracting labor and processing costs, Douglas estimated savings
would net out at $33,000. A full-feature system, at about $45,000, would
have a probable payback of 16 months.

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Gifford <>
To: E&R Posting Address <>
Date: Thursday, January 14, 1999 6:37 PM
Subject: Shop towels: Launderable vs. disposable

>Forwarded on behalf of Tory Duncan:
>> I am working with a printer here in Nebraska on several issues, but one
>> particular issue that has come up is that of Launderable shop towels vs.
>> Disposable towels.
>> The question posed to these listserve members is: In trying to alleviate
>> hazardous waste issues from the shop, which type of towel is the best?
>> My suggestions have been to switch to launderable rags, and stray away
>> from disposable rags. Is this right. I know in either sense the wastes
>> from these rags have to be disposed of in some manner either by the shop
>> or the laundry service, but which is the best suggestion to lend
>> printers when making my final report to them?
>> Your help will be greatly appreciated
>> Tory Duncan
>> Nebraska Printers Project
>> 2505 North 24th Street, Suite 103
>> Omaha, NE 68110
>> email
>> phone (402) 595-3812
>> fax (402) 595-3832

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view
Disclaimer / Copyright Info
Email the PNEAC Webmaster