Beacon Cleaners wins national environmental award

Beacon Cleaners wins national environmental award
Beacon Cleaners wins national environmental award

A local dry cleaner has been recognized on the national level for their efforts to reduce their environmental impact and for their role as an environmental leader in the area and business.


Beacon Cleaners has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award. The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency nominated the company for the award and will present the owner, Mr. Hi Bum Kim, with it at the director’s meeting in June.


The award is given annually to one small business by the National Steering Committee for the Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


“Beacon Cleaners has a long track record of environmental leadership in Spokane,” said Margee Chambers, Compliance Assistance Coordinator for Spokane Clean Air.


In 1998, Beacon Cleaners was the first dry cleaner in Washington to stop using the toxic “perc” dry cleaning system. They switched to using a hydrocarbon based solvent. To do this they had to install new dry cleaning machines that reduced their solvent use and waste by-products.


Since then, the cleaners have installed even more advance machines that have non-venting systems. Because of this they became the first dry cleaner in Spokane County to no longer be regulated for hazardous air emissions. Beacon Cleaners is no longer considered an air pollution source and does not have to register with Spokane Clean Air.


Spokane Clean Air selected the dry cleaner for the Clean Air Award in 2012. This award is given to businesses that show a commitment and leadership in reducing air emissions. Beacon was also the first EnviroStars certified dry cleaner in Spokane and now carries a five star rating.


“Beacon is a national role model in making the environment a priority at their business,” said Chambers, “Spokane Clean Air is pleased that Beacon’s achievement in sustainability and environmental leadership has been recognized at the national level.”