When hotel or motel guests enter their rooms, they at least expect to be greeted with a clean, tidy bed or bath with soap.
But what happens when you leave that soap?
They usually end up in the trash, says Sean Seipler, the founder Clear the world, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 that recycles soap for more than 8,000 hospitality partners, including Marriott International. By collecting, melting, modifying and packaging the partially used soap left by the hotel guests, the non-profit organization distributed about 70 million tiles. Soap in more than 120 countries, including Romania, where many Ukrainian refugees have arrived.
Clean the World is currently focusing on soap processing in seven warehouses around the world. Companies can: to register in the program online և get boxes to collect discarded goods on their property. All boxes are delivered to non-profit organization warehouses.
The company now has about 60 employees, but its beginnings were much more humble when Mr. Saipler և a small group of family and acquaintances hand-scrubbed used soap with potato peelers in an Orlando garage.
“The first time the police came to the garage, they wanted to see what we, all Puerto Ricans, were preparing. “So I went on a tour of them,” Saipler said in a video interview.
The conversation has been edited for simplicity.
Before you started Clean the World, you traveled a lot as a salesperson. How did your work lead you to a non-profit organization?
I was traveling: New York on Monday, Chicago on Tuesday, St. Louis, Los Angeles on Wednesday, and vice versa. : I was in a hotel room in Minneapolis when I came up with the idea of a clean world.
In Minneapolis, I had to increase my alcohol consumption to stay warm. So that’s one of those nights when I say, “What happens to the soap?” : called the reception to ask. And they said it was thrown away, they actually told me to have a cocktail.
I was doing very well, but I had something to do on my own, the sustainability of thinking as an entrepreneur, green technologies. And that made me ask. “What happens to the soap?” I was looking for items that could be recycled.
The company started in the garage of your cousin’s car. Tell us what those first days were like.
I was originally born and raised in South Florida, and we were collecting soap from hotels near Orlando Airport in my cousin’s garage. We all sat on the pickled buckets on which the potato peelers were placed, and we scraped the outside of the bar of soap to clean it.
My other cousin was on the meat grinder, he was grinding it. And then we had these Kenmore pots, և you would make the soap. All the dirt would fall off, և you would erase it, և it would turn into this paste.
Then we made big molds of wood soap, և the next day the paste would dry. We cut the bars with a wire, took them out and put them on the shelves.
We had to have music – salsa merengue. Of course, we could not get the right power when the meat grinder was on, so there was a power outage every 30 minutes.
How did the “Clean World” become what it is today?
We launched the garage in February 2009.
We distributed to local charities in Orlando, and then we had the opportunity to go to Haiti in 2009. in July. We take 2,000 pieces of soap and go to church with 10,000 people. I remember just saying: “We will be back. We will bring more soap. I promise.”
When we made that trip, our local Fox branch went with us to document our work. When it aired in New York, it so happened that Katie Kurik was doing the CBS Evening News, the senior producer called us in late August or September 2009 and said:
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This is what made us leave the garage and enter our friend’s warehouse. He gave us a small corner where we organized our activities.
We’ve been there since September 2009 և we have been contacted by many hotels outside of Orlando, so it was then that we started the delivery process to send hotel dumpsters to us. About three months later, an earthquake struck Haiti. As we moved to our first facility, 3,000 square feet in Orlando, և the earthquake in Haiti helped us move to more advanced vehicles as demand for our project really increased.
Tell me about the soap cleaning and reuse process.
We have the same type of machines used by the soap maker. When we get the soap, the first thing we do is hold it in what is called a plotter, ծայր its tip has a very fine filter that pushes out all the soap. And when the soap comes out, the filter catches the hair, the paper և all the surface items.
That heat and action disinfects the soap, while the boys and girls in our establishment, whom we call soap bubbles, need to feel the batch itself to see if it has the right level of moisture so that it does not break down when produced. or not too wet.
We regularly send our soap to a third-party lab that tests it to make sure everything is clean.
What should travelers think about when they use soap in their hotel rooms?
If you live in a hotel that does not use our plan, take the soap home with you, keep it out of the dump, use it in your home. Unwrapped soap can be donated to your local homeless shelter or local charity you support. We will have a better life for that.
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