Metro’s Grounds Maintenance and Custodial Services (GMAC) Go Green

August 15th, 2013

Health and sustainability lead to the greening of Metro’s custodial services.

Estelle Strickland, PLNT, washing the glass partitions at Twinbrook Station

Estelle Strickland, PLNT, washing the glass partitions at Twinbrook station on July 4, 2010

Metro’s Grounds Maintenance and Custodial Services (GMAC) staff are doing much more than keeping the system clean, safe and sanitary for customers and fellow employees.  They are going green and improving WMATA’s bottom line through their Green Cleaning Program—an initiative focused on cleaning for health and sustainability.

“Our efforts have included initiating cleaning practices that have a positive impact on the environment, that are less harmful to our internal and external customers and generate financial savings where possible for the Authority,” said Christopher Moore, Superintendent, Office of Plant Maintenance (PLNT).


The primary cleaning solution PLNT uses is a Green Seal-certified chemical that is dispensed through an automatic dilution control device, allowing a custodian to set a dial that dispenses a cleaning solution that mixes with water for cleaning carpets, glass, floors and other surfaces, each at the appropriate water-to-solution ratio.  This allows Metro to save money by stocking less chemical in store rooms and reducing handling costs.  The solution is also cold-water activated, generating substantial energy cost savings for the Authority by not requiring the use of hot water. 

Further helping the environment while saving the agency money, GMAC has replaced standard cotton cleaning cloths and mops with microfiber products, which are designed to more effectively lift dirt from surfaces, reducing the amount of water and chemicals needed to clean any surface. The micro-fiber cloths and mops are re-usable hundreds of times and are washed and dried in Energy Star-rated washers and dryers. This practice decreases waste and cost by reducing the need to replace cloths and mops. 

GMAC is also reducing air pollutants by deploying High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter vacuums in place of traditional vacuum cleaning systems. Using HEPA filtration removes 99.97 percent of particulates that would otherwise be released in the air, capturing dust, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander.

GMAC continues to look for new opportunities to promote WMATA’s sustainability efforts and enhance agency operations.


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  1. Sam Marquit
    November 22nd, 2013 at 11:24 | #1

    Hi i have a question about your blog. Could you please email me when you get a chance? Thanks!

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