True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

The truth behind your cleaner's environmental surcharge

Does your cleaner add an environmental surcharge (a.k.a. EPA tax, ADEQ tax, environmental fee, ticket charge, waste surcharge, disposal fee, etc.) of 3% to 9% to each invoice? Allegedly to cover the cost of drycleaning solvent permits and drycleaning solvent waste removal?

Sales tickets

Unfortunately, the term "environmental surcharge" has led many consumers to believe that this surcharge is a tax that must be collected by cleaners and forwarded to a federal, state or local agency. Truth is, there's no such tax in Arizona. It's merely a "stealth mechanism" designed to generate additional revenue - all in the hope that you won't understand the nature of the surcharge, tax, fee or charge.

An ethical cleaner would never add an environmental surcharge to your bill. That's because they view compliance with federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations as another business expense, not an additional revenue source.

In addition to using the environmental surcharge as a revenue increasing mechanism that adds nothing to the quality of the final product, here's what gets my goat: Some of the biggest offenders are cleaners who claim to be "green", "organic", "non-toxic" and "environmentally friendly". This begs the question: if your drycleaning solvent is so green, so organic, so non-toxic and so environmentally friendly, why is there a need for an environmental surcharge? And why do you charge an environmental surcharge on shirt laundry and linen laundry?

Adding an environmental surcharge to your cleaning bill is like a bar adding a restroom usage fee to your bar tab.

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