New reusable microfiber cloth program

September 26, 2019

Every year, Yale Facilities Services ordered thousands of white bar towels. These industrial rags were used throughout campus for cleaning. Then, when worn out, were thrown out. A more sustainable program was introduced some years ago and recently expanded using microfiber clothes to clean surfaces. Now, all custodians across campus use these reusable microfiber cloths to clean their areas. These sustainable cloths and mop heads are more sanitary, pick up dust quicker, and save money.

It is a two-bag system, each custodian is assigned and given a bag of the microfiber towels. After use, when the towels get dirty, they are placed in a mesh bag that is picked up by the vendor, washed, and returned to campus weekly. This system also prevents theft, and loss as each person is responsible for their own supply.

The program started as a pilot in 2010 at the Yale School of Medicine. In 2012, it expanded to all the science units–to great success. It slowly gained momentum and in 2017 was introduced in both Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray Colleges, and is now in place throughout all the residential colleges, Old Campus, and a large majority of campus buildings. The long-term plan is to incorporate the use of these microfiber cloths for cleaning into all campus buildings.

Yale is committed to building a more sustainable world. By doing what we do best—integrating science, the humanities, and our community—Yale creates, tests, and adopts innovative solutions to the environmental and social challenges we all face.