Earth Watch: Rogers Cleaners

- “We have customers that are three and four generations, ‘’ said Mitchell Rogers Owner of Rogers Cleaners.

It’s a St. Petersburg staple. Family owned Rogers Cleaners just celebrated 100 years in business.

“Originally we used to package clothing in paper,” Rogers said.

Thousands of garments come through every week. To keep track of the clothing each item is tagged with an electronic bar code. This  cuts back on paper tagging. Then the clothing is sorted before it’s dry cleaned.

“Dry cleaning is basically similar to washing clothes at home except we're not using water.  The process cleans clothes from dry to dry basically.  90 out of 100 years we used hydrocarbon solvent. It's something that is naturally created out of oil,” said Rogers.

It’s odorless too.

“These units we have the ability to go through evaporate the solvent and distill it so that is able to be purified and reused. Once the items are cleaned they come out wrinkled so we need to go through and removed the wrinkles. This is just using steam similar to your iron,” explained Rogers.

Most garments are pressed by hand but machines help speed up the process with mens dress shirts.

Customers drop off hundreds of extra hangers each week. After they’re sorted and inspected Rogers Cleaners reuses about half of them

“It's something that's good for the environment but also good for our business because can reuse them. We  look at everything we get and see if it can safely be used and if it can't then it's recycled,” he said.

Plastic is recycled too monthly. The booming free delivery service helps the cleaners cut back on waste too. Each client has a reusable VIP bag. They’re testing out a new reusable bag that converts to a garment bag.

“We clean it and then when the clothing is done instead of it being in plastic it's in a reusable garment bag.

Giving back to the environment and providing the same quality service since the early 1900s.

“The local effort is great. we appreciate the support,” said Rogers.

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