Grants available to help dry cleaners switch from harmful perchloroethylene

Financial assistance available to help businesses make the change to more environmentally friendly machines and solvents

The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program is offering up to three separate $20,000 grants to dry cleaners in King County using perchloroethylene (PERC) to help businesses update aging machines and transition to more environmentally friendly equipment and solvents.

“This is a good program that encourages cleaners to change their ways of cleaning for the better of public health and the environment,” said Michael Park, owner of Midway Cleaners in Des Moines.

Although PERC is the most-widely used dry cleaning solvent in the industry, it can be harmful to health and the environment. Safer alternatives are available, and the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program is encouraging dry cleaners to switch to newer, safer solvents.

The deadline for application is Nov. 27. Qualifying businesses are not required to pay back the grants. To find an application at www.kingcounty.gov/procurement: click on “solicitations,” click on “enter site as guest,” enter “dry clean” in the keywords box.

Request a printed copy by contacting Roy Dodman at roy.dodman@kingcounty.gov, 206-263-9293; or Cathy Betts at cathy.betts@kingcounty.gov, 206-263-9291. Grant information is also available in Korean. An informational meeting may be offered for interested businesses.

To be eligible for a grant, a dry cleaner must meet eligibility criteria, including:

  •  Currently be using a PERC machine and registered with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. 
  •  Install the new dry cleaning machine in 2011 or early 2012.
  • Commit to stay in business after installation of a new system.

Program and other agency staff will visit business owners who apply to conduct a review and offer other technical assistance. Depending on the success of this pilot program, more funds could be available in 2012.

The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program is a partnership of local governments including Seattle, King County, the suburban and other cities in King County, working together to manage hazardous wastes and protect health and the environment. Visit us at www.HazWasteHelp.org.

Related information

Local Hazardous Waste Management Program

What do I do with…?

King County Solid Waste