San Francisco's Dry Cleaning Achievements

Legislation passed by the California Air Resources Board requires all dry cleaners in California to stop operating their perc machines by 2023. Perc dry cleaners in co-residential buildings and those using machines greater than 15 years old had to retire their machines by July 1, 2010 and switch to an alternative machine.

In conjunction, we developed and executed an outreach strategy to convert as many dry cleaners to wet cleaning technology.  Some of the achivements from our garment cleaning campaign are outlined below:

  • Conducted an alternatives assessment to fully assess the environmental and health impacts posed by dry cleaning solvents. The goal of the alternatives assessment document is to serve as a guidance document to inform local cleaners of not just the health and environmental impacts but also the regulatory and economic impacts of various alternatives.
  • Presented the alternatives assessment information through a public workshop attended by ~80 cleaners on August 13, 2009 at the San Francisco Public Library.
  • Held ~10 wet cleaning demonstrations in Bay Area to show other cleaners how wet cleaning technology works. Continue to plan and co-sponsor demos. 
  • Created $20,000 grant program offering $5,000 to 4 perc cleaners to convert to wet cleaning. This funding supplements up to $15,000 available per cleaner from the state.
  • Secured additional $20,000 from BAAQMD to fund 3 more cleaners to convert to wet cleaning and fund cleaner-to-cleaner training program.
  • Visited all San Francisco perc shops with Cantonese or Korean speaking outreach staff to promote wet cleaning grant programs and to answer questions about dry cleaning regulations.  
  • The potential CO2 savings between wet cleaning and hydrocarbon cleaning is 3,833 lbs CO2/cleaner/year.