Aladco Installs New 'Green' Washing Machine
Aladco contracted local companies to retrofit the 19th-century building to more energy-efficient technology.
ADAMS, Mass. — Aladco is the latest business to go green.
The linen company installed a new $700,000 washer expected to reduce water usage by 84 percent. The company tore out the equpment it had been using for 50 years and retrofitted its 19th-century Commercial Street building for the modern technology.
"It's really cool to see an old building get a third or fourth life," Kevin Ellingwood, the company's public relations spokesman, said. "This has been in the works for a year or so."
The Pulse-Flow washing system replaces four washing machines that held 400 pounds of laundry each with a conveyor belt system. Every three minutes, workers load 50-pound batches onto the corkscrewlike belt. The batches then go through the various steps of a wash.
"It took them a little while to get efficient using the machine. Workers used to just load it in and go get a coffee or something," Ellingwood said. "It will result in significant savings."
Previously Aladco used 10 washing machines that used 2.5 gallons of water per pound of laundry, using 1.5 million gallons of water per month. The new system uses .4 gallons of water per pound – reducing the monthly usage to 250,000 gallons. Additionally, the less water used, the less gas and electricity are required to heat it.
Berkshire Gas contributed a $50,000 rebate to Aladco for the project.
"The projected savings for this project of over 67,000 therms and nearly 1.7 million therms over the life of the equipment, are impressive, to say the least. To put this into perspective, the annual savings from this one project equates to the amount of natural gas needed to heat approximately 70 homes per year," Michael Sommer, manager of energy services at Berkshire Gas, said in a press release.
According to Ellingwood, Aladco is the first hospitality linen rental facility in the nation to make the change.
Additionally, Aladco recently introduced three new eco-friendly products: a lint–free microfiber wiping towel, microfiber mop system and the Environap, an alternative to disposable napkins for the same cost.
The company provides table and kitchen linens, bed linens, uniforms, entrance mats and dust control to restaurants, hotels, motels, hospital, medical service providers and schools and colleges.
More information on Aladco here.
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Simmons Expanding Into Customized Lines
Simmons Furniture is adding another Pittsfield location to the one it has in Adams, above, and in the Pittsfield Plaza.
ADAMS, Mass. — The 130-year-old Simmons Furniture is thinking 21st century with addition of a third venue that will offer customized options for the more discriminating consumer.
The company will open a 25,000 square-foot store in the Allendale Shopping Center in Pittsfield this fall that will offer some of its classic brand lines along with new additions focused on health and sustainable living.
"We have some great lines of custom furniture that we don't currently carry," general manager Donna Riley told us on Tuesday. "I think it really is something unique for the county."
Riley said the decision to open the new location was based on trends the company is seeing in consumers. They're more concerned with healthy living, selecting furniture and materials suited for their lifestyles and looking to spend money that may once have been used on getaways into "remaking their homes in a way that's about really living in them."
"We're noticing more and more people are coming in and want to do something more custom. They're thinking about how it affects their health," she said. That puts the focus on so-called green and organic materials and American-made and imported lines that offer greater customization and more versatile applications. It will also include accessories by local artists. And sometimes old is new, she said, such as the use of glider rockers to aid people suffering from diabetes and otehr leg circulatory problems.
"We're kind of going back to the way we did business in the old days, in the '70s," she said, recalling how her mother Phyllis Riley bought the Adams store in 1973 and began putting her own flourishes on the merchandise.
The new shop joins the 15,000 square-foot showroom in Adams and the 20,000 square-foot store in the Pittsfield Plaza, which will become more of an outlet. The three stores will provide a wide range of price points to ensure furniture offerings for every size pocketbook, said Riley. "I think there's room in the marketplace for all the furniture stores. "
In a statement, Phyllis Riley said, "This new location, named 'Simmons Lifestyle Furniture,' will hearken back to the roots of the original intent of the company: stylish, customizable, unique furniture at affordable prices."
The new store is expected to open in October; Riley wouldn't say which storefront in the center it's moving into because the current occupant has not yet announced it's relocating.
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