Thanks to Worker-Owner and Floor Manager, Sharon (left) and General Manager Claudia (right) of Evergreen Cooperative Laundry in Cleveland, OH for today's incredible tour of this worker-owned cooperative laundry model that employs more than 50 people, 18 of whom are worker-owners.
Allen Grasa (below), who has been the new President of Evergreen Cooperative Laundry for just over a year, shows me the industrial-strength washing machine that does 9,000 linens per day. The efficiency of this machine pays off: it takes just 1 gallon H20 per lb of laundry versus 3 gallons H20 per lb of laundry in conventional machines.
This "Heat Recovery System" is really hot! The mechanism sucks heat out of the outgoing (hot) wastewater before it goes down the drain, cooling the water and reserving the heat for incoming city water, bringing it up to 90 degrees so that the boiler doesn't have to work so hard.
Grasa says that when this heat recovery system doesn't run, the cooperative sees their gas bill increase by $5,000 per month - so the savings are real for both planet and pocketbook!
These workers benefit from the worker-ownership model by seeing bonuses whenever the company does well! By sharing in the profit of the company, this model fosters ownership and encourages greater participation and involvement from its workers.