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A Spin Around the Laundromat Making Local Medicine Possible

SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- If you've ever been in an urgent care, hospital, or operating room, chances are you've created a mess.

Don't believe me?

How about using scrubs from last surgery or sheets from the patient before.

Nearly 42,000lbs of soiled laundry is created each day by Springfield hospitals, but the incredible part is that sanitation is only a couple spins away.

Dirty linen arrives by the truckload to Enterprise Laundry: A 23,000 square foot operation owned jointly by CoxHealth and Mercy.

Enterprise Laundry Director Rick Garland has nearly 30 years in the business.

"All we are doing is covering the cost it takes to operate the plant and covering any expenses that it has."

"On average, we save both hospitals (Mercy and CoxHealth) between $700,000 and $1 million a year."

Some 57 employees begin their day at 4:30 in the morning by weighing and sorting each item.

Large hampers then carry the load to washers where computers do all the work.

29 minutes later, it's time to dry.

Incredibly, even if the washers weren't capable of running, the shear heat from these industrial monsters would be enough to disinfect scrubs.

Workers again act as mere conveyer belt to more machines where items are pressed, ironed, and folded in no time at all.

This highly-coordinated team typically cleans around 13 million pounds each shift, and could theoretically rush deliver an item within an hour.


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