Taxpayer Victory: Cleaning in the Light of Day
Yesterday’s Star Tribune included a story (“Cleaning in the Light of Day“) about the upcoming change to janitorial services in Hennepin County buildings:
Janitors typically do their work sight unseen, after everyone else has gone home. But soon that’s going to change at the Hennepin County Government Center and other heavily used county buildings.
By shutting off the lights and turning down the thermostats at night, the county expects to save at least $100,000 a year in energy costs.
Starting March 1, about half of Hennepin County’s buildings – 63 in all – will be vacuumed, wiped down, swept and emptied of trash during the daytime rather than at night. It’s thought to be the first public entity in Minnesota to move to day cleaning, a trend that has gained popularity in the private sector.
In addition to the $100k in proposed energy savings, it’s estimated that another $350,000 will be saved annually through reduced work hours for janitors, since many workplaces that are cleaned during both the day and night will now only be cleaned during the day.
This might not seem like a big deal to some in the private sector, but changes like this don’t come easy in government and we should celebrate when they occur.
By the way, I claim no credit for this change. As far as I know, it was completely county administration initiated and driven. It also has obtained the blessing of the union for the affected employees based on the argument that, even though some employees will lose work, those who remain will have a normal daytime schedule.