The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell recognized Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition and J&P Cleaners with the “Champions of Toxics Use Reduction” award at a ceremony at the state house last week.
Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition received a $20K TURI grant to implement the project: “Cancer-Free New Economy Jamaica Plain: Integrating Toxics Reduction Approaches with Sustainable Community Development.” The Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition worked with retail businesses in Jamaica Plain to pursue toxics use reduction strategies in the areas of cleaning and disinfecting, solvents and pesticide use. The project team developed and promoted municipal policies in Boston and other Massachusetts communities that advance toxics use reduction in dry cleaning and other retail establishments. This effort builds upon last year’s project that established the “Cancer Free New Economy,” an initiative that helps businesses transition away from using carcinogens and other toxics to safer alternatives.
J&P Cleaners was recognized for switching its dry cleaning operation from using perchloroethylene (perc) to professional wet cleaning with the help of a TURI grant. The owners welcomed the public to its grand opening in the summer of 2014. In May of 2015, the small family-owned business demonstrated the safer technology to other Massachusetts dry cleaners to encourage them to eliminate the use of perc, a ‘likely human carcinogen’ as characterized by the Environment Protection Agency. A water-based system, professional wet cleaning uses computer-controlled equipment to gently wash, dry, and then finish previously dry-cleaned clothes, eliminating the use of the solvent perc.