Midwest Leader Gallagher Uniform Uses Abanaki to Balance Stellar Service with Environmental Stewardship

Since 1893, family-owned and operated Gallagher Uniform has provided a full range of uniform service options. Today, the company is set up to meet the needs of virtually every organization in south central Michigan that requires uniforms, from small operations of 10 employees to large enterprises with a workforce of 6,000.

The four brothers who currently own and manage the business have over 100 years of combined experience. They put it all to good use, as witnessed by their outstanding track record—an incredible 99.35% customer retention rate. Recently, a national uniform rental consulting firm, Robert Swift & Associates, recognized Gallagher Uniform as having the highest customer retention rate ever recorded by one of their clients.

“We attribute our success to an ongoing commitment to deliver superior, ‘hands on’ customer service. We offer a 100% guarantee that our service will be exceptional and that we will be honest, fair and professional in everything we do,” acknowledged Dan Gallagher.

A Clean Solution

The 30,000 sq. ft. laundry plays a key role in Gallagher Uniform’s dedicated approach. Through its continuous operation, the company is able to offer customers weekly laundering of soiled garments. The onsite facility also allows Gallagher Uniform to reduce rental costs by issuing previously worn garments whenever possible.

Like many laundry facilities, however, Gallagher has had to balance customer needs against increasingly stringent EPA compliance. Laundry plants can generate potentially hazardous wastes in the form of solvents such as petroleum. When local regulations began to tighten five years ago, Dan and his brothers began to investigate cost-effective ways to exhibit good environmental stewardship and still deliver timely, cost-effective laundry services.

They found the perfect solution in the Abanaki Corporation, a leading manufacturer of oil skimmers. As Dan recalls it, his brother Mike, who was then responsible for plant maintenance, discovered the company at an industry trade show in 2001. The Gallaghers have never looked back.

The Abanaki Way

After contacting a sales representative and exploring all the options, they chose the Abanaki Model 4 Oil Grabber, one of the company’s most dependable and effective means to remove oil from water.

“Gallagher operates a two-pit system. Heavily soiled drain water goes into one, and clean drain water into a second. The Model 4 is used in the heavily soiled pit, mounted near a clean water drain,” Dan revealed.

Oil skimmers makes use of the differences in specific gravity and surface tension between oil and water, allowing the unit to attract oil and other contaminants from the water’s surface. The Model 4 utilizes a continuous belt and wiper action to remove oil from water up to 20 gallons of oil per hour from the surface. The belt, operating on a motor and pulley system, runs through the contaminated liquid to pick up oil. The oil is then scraped off both sides of the belt by the oil skimmers and discharged into 250 gallon holding tank. Every eight to ten months, the oil is properly emptied and disposed of offsite.

As with all Abanaki units, the Model 4 has a reputation for being easy to install and maintain. Dan concurs. “The Model 4 was easy to install. It’s easy to operate, and it requires minimal maintenance.”

More important, he says that the unit has done its job when it comes to regulatory compliances. An effective waste minimization program not only can reduce the costs, liabilities, and regulatory burdens of hazardous waste management, but it also can enhance community relations. Gallagher Uniform can attest to all these benefits, particularly when it comes to opening and strengthening the company’s relationship with the surrounding community.

“Abanaki has allowed us to build a good relationship with the city. Due to its effectiveness, we are now viewed as having taken a proactive stance with regulatory compliance. As a result, the city inspector relaxed limits and raised Ph levels,” Dan added.