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ELECTRIC UTILITY CONNECTS DRY CLEANERS WITH RECYCLING EQUIPMENT, STATE FUNDS

 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- When 300 dry cleaners in the territory of a Pennsylvania electric utility faced environmental challenges from OSHA and the Clean Air Act Amendments, the utility's marketing experts went to work.
 Through their efforts, many of the dry cleaners are reducing costs and their employees' exposure to a hazardous substance.
 Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Light Co. has been a conduit for many dry cleaners in its territory to reduce use of perchlorethylene by installing equipment that recycles it. The utility's marketing experts assisted the businesses, and some who had already purchased equipment, to receive thousands of dollars in rebates through a state grant program.
 Two years ago, a study by a Duquesne Light marketing team on the Clean Air Act Amendment's impact to its small commercial and industrial customers led to the dry-cleaning industry. According to John Hynes, senior marketing analyst, who headed the team, the dry cleaners had to reduce employee exposure to perchlorethylene to meet proposed OSHA regulations, since put on hold.
 Hynes and his team found dry-cleaning equipment that recycles the solvent, meeting compliance standards for recycling hazardous waste.
 "In addition," Hynes said, "the equipment has combined washer/dryer functions, resulting in reduced air emissions and employee exposure to perchlorethylene, since solvent-soaked clothes aren't transferred by hand.
 "With older equipment, much solvent is lost during operation, but with this equipment the solvent is filtered and recycled, and as much as 90 percent recovered. Also, less chemical residue remains on garments."
 Overall cost savings for the dry cleaners are considerable, Hynes noted, even though the equipment's heat pump means new energy use. "While specific energy consumption varies, in all instances, any additional energy costs are offset by savings in perchlorethylene costs, with average savings roughly four to six times greater than additional electricity costs."
 Duquesne Light solved one more piece to the puzzle. "Dry cleaners installing this equipment could qualify for grants through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources of up to 25 percent of the equipment and installation costs," Hynes said.
 Duquesne Light reached more than 80 percent of the area's dry cleaners. At least two dozen Pittsburgh-area dry cleaners have purchased recycling equipment and received grants totaling more than $200,000, many as a direct result of Duquesne Light's efforts.
 -0- 8/10/93
 /CONTACT: Dennis E. O'Neil of Duquesne Light, 412-393-4060/


CO: Duquesne Light Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL UTI SU:

LV -- NYEFNS6 -- 0985 08/10/93 06:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 10, 1993
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