Medford Businesses Recognized for Going Green

Green businessesPictured: Michael Ellenbecker and Joy Onasch of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell, Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, Tom Nguyen and his wife, owner of Best Neighborhood Cleaners in Medford. Courtesy photo.

Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) and Representatives Paul Donato (D-Medford), Carl Sciortino (D-Medford), and Sean Garballey (D-Medford) are happy to announce recognition for two companies in Medford who have switched to green energy and environmentally responsible chemicals. Mystic Office Center LLC in Medford has received a substantial rebate for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and Best Neighborhood Cleaners, a local drycleaners, has received recognition as a leader in the toxic chemical reduction community.

Mystic Office Center LLC in Medford received a rebate amounting to over $110,000 from the Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Rebate Program which provides rebates through a non-competitive application process for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) projects by professional, licensed contractors at commercial, industrial, institutional and public facilities. The rebates are based on the size and other characteristics of the PV project. The primary purpose of the Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Rebate Program is to stimulate the solar photovoltaic installation and integrator market in Massachusetts, providing greater job development and further driving the Commonwealth’s economy. It speaks volumes for the city of Medford to have a business within its borders receive such a large rebate from this program.

“These grants are a good example of how the state can leverage its resources to help local companies to implement green solutions. I am proud to have such forward thinking businesses in Medford,” Senator Jehlen said.

The Toxic Use Reduction Institute (TURI), located at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, recently hosted an event at the Statehouse honoring local companies who have successfully found ways to reduce their toxic chemical use and educating the public on how to make safer choices.

Best Neighborhood Cleaners of High Street in Medford, was recognized as this year’s industry “Champions of Toxics Use Reduction” for promoting safer janitorial and dry cleaning alternatives.

Tuan Nguyen, owner of Best Neighborhood Drycleaner, is plying his trade without a harmful chemical that most competitors use, thanks in part to an $18,000 state grant. Nguyen has stopped using the chemical perchloroethylene, or perc, which has made the Commonwealth’s High Hazard Substance list.

Joy Onsach, program community director of TURI, called perc “a human carcinogen.” With the help from the state sponsored grant Nguyen is now able to use a “wet cleaning method” that lets him wash dry-clean-only clothes, and then run them through special equipment that would safely press the clothing, which the grant paid for.

“I am proud to see Medford businesses taking advantage of these grants to promote a safe and healthy environment for our community,” said Representative Paul Donato.

“It’s exciting to see local companies taking the initiative and modifying their practices to be environmentally friendly. These grants help Massachusetts businesses remain on the cutting-edge of technology that let us grow our economy while protecting our environment” Representative Garballey said.

Nguyen’s success with this method has even urged other business owners, some from as far as Maine, to visit his store and learn about this alternative method. Perc is destined to be phased out of the dry-cleaning industry and Tuan Nguyen, his Best Neighborhood Cleaners, and Medford will be infront of the competition when it does.

Representative Sciortino said, “I am thrilled that Medford businesses are taking the lead in the move towards greener solutions. This is a fantastic example of how businesses can thrive using environmentally sound practices and demonstrates the innovative ability of the Medford business community. Their successes show that sustainable solutions and business success are not mutually opposed. Green solutions can foster economic and job growth for Medford and for the Commonwealth.”

– Information from State Senator Patricia Jehlen’s office

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