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AirDelights.com : an interview with Steve Bronson

We, at Falcon Waterfree Technologies, believe in giving our customer 100% satisfaction. Our client feedback has led our continuous efforts to design the most revolutionary, technology-driven restroom products. However, partnering with key distributors is essential to our sales strategy. Today, we are really excited to share this interview with Steve Bronson from AirDelights.com to discuss the past, the present and the future of water-saving technologies.

  1. What is the history of Air Delights?

Air Delights was created in 1991 in Oregon.  Because it took some time to accumulate local sales, I continued to operate a full-time janitorial business.  When it seemed like Air Delights was not moving forward with local sales, I created a website, www.airdelights.com.  After getting the website up and running and still focusing on the air freshener business, the sales started coming in.  In 1993, Air Delights became a full time business so I shut down my janitorial business and focused full-time on Air Delights. 

It was about that time that I began adding sensor hygiene products to my product line.  The pivotal moment for me that my idea of operating a mail order business for restroom products occurred in 1993 when I received a purchase order from the United States Post Office in Washington DC for $40,000.00 worth of restroom products.  At the time, I was in shock. This sale gave me the drive and ambition to continue expanding my business. That same week, I relocated my business to a location that I could get the product delivered to me in semi trucks.

I also added Sloan Valve products to our website.  I noticed that some of our commercial customers were raising concerns about water conservation.  Water conservation was becoming a major selling point for large and small customers.  We soon added the Falcon Waterfree products, and it didn’t take long for these products to become our top selling products.  The Sloan/Falcon Waterfree urinal is the ultimate water saving fixture for any public restroom.  The cartridge refills became one of our top selling products.

2. When did you begin working with Waterfree urinal technologies, and how have you seen the technology change over the years?

As soon as Falcon partnered with Sloan, I started selling the Waterfree Urinal products. At first, our customer’s biggest concern was the buildup of struvite, a water-soluble substance from urine; however, Falcon quickly redesigned their products, and there haven’t been any concerns since the redesign.

I believe that Falcon is responsible for creating this water saving movement. Throughout the years, many manufacturers have started to design more water efficient restroom products, such as the 1.28 gpf toilets, automatic faucets and dual flush automatic flushers.  However, Falcon Waterfree Technologies is still the champion when it comes to a true Waterfree product. Other manufacturers have attempted to venture into the waterfree urinal line, but none has come close to creating a product like Falcon has.  We have had customers advise us that we’re removing another manufacturer’s line, only to replace it with the Sloan/Falcon product line. 

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3. What has been the customer’s reaction to the Velocity Cartridge?

To this day, none of our customers have contacted us about the Velocity Cartridge, which in our business means the customers have not had any problems with the new Velocity Cartridge.  In fact, our sales have continued to increase on this product.

4. In the last year Sloan has launched both the Hybrid and Retrofit Hybrid urinal technologies. What do you think of these products?

AirDelights.com has already sold several Hybrid urinals. I think Hybrids have solved the buildup issue from scratch; however, for National Parks, where the cost of moving water is a critical decision making factor, hybrids are counterproductive.  All three urinal types have their specific applications —remote, retrofit, and new construction. If NASA ever colonizes Mars, Falcon would have to design a fourth option, an anti-gravity Urinal.

5. With the drought hitting the Western half of the United States, what are the changes that have we could be doing to mitigate water shortages?

I believe that any water conservation initiatives take an effort and commitment of the government to raise awareness. California seems to be leading the nation in its effort to conserve water.  Because of water shortages, many of the cartridges we sell are being shipped to states in the western region of the country.  However, we also sell cartridges to many major US corporations around the country with large industrial facilities that seem to be focused on water conservation. 

The Truth About Flushing

Despite the common belief that water improves hygiene, all living things, including bacteria, depend on water for survival. What most people do not know is that bacteria are sprayed as a fine mist when urinals are flushed and can thrive far outside the urinal bowl.  

Flush_Bacteria_colorThe “aerosol effect” was first discovered in 1975 by Charles Gerba, an environmental microbiologist from the University of Arizona, who found that bacteria and viruses spraying out after flushing a toilet remain airborne long enough to settle on surfaces throughout the bathroom, and can remarkably travel as far as eight feet. In order to measure his results, Dr. Gerba placed pieces of gauze in different locations around the bathroom and measured the bacterial and viral levels present after flushing.

You can actually verify it yourself by putting a dye in the toilet/urinal, flushing, and holding a piece of paper over it. “Droplets are going all over the place – it’s like the Fourth of July,” Gerba affirms.

But Dr. Gerba is not the only one studying the “aerosol effect”. A recently published research paper has found that lid-less toilets in hospitals are a potential risk for infections, and they might be the reason why C. difficile infections are on the rise.

Falcon_bacteria_graphic_2Since Falcon Waterfree Technologies urinals use no water for flushing, our technology actually not only creates a less fertile breeding ground for bacteria, they also eliminate the cloud of tiny droplets that travels outside the urinal with each flushed. In fact, research has demonstrated that Falcon’s urinal has five times less bacteria than the average flush or low flush urinal and as they do not spray dirty water across the restroom, our urinals also reduce the opportunity for mold and mildew to thrive.

[CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR REVOLUTIONARY, SANITARY-DRIVEN PRODUCTS]

HYBRID MADE IT TO TOP GREEN PRODUCT FOR 2016

For 14 years, BuildingGreen has given its Top 10 Green Building Products award to products that transform the design and construction industry by helping solve environmental issues. This year, we were one of the products awarded and we couldn’t be more delighted with the news!

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Among the winners are those that save energy and reduce carbon in completely original ways; supper-efficient, innovative heat pumps used in new applications; and lighting systems that improve performance and might just transform the way we design buildings. The Hybrid was included as a unique product to our industry for, not only saving water, but for using the “Jetrinse Solution Technology”. This feature uses a vigorous, one-gallon, pre-programmed rinse every 72 hours that keeps solids from forming in the housing and drain line.

You can find the Hybrid Urinal through our partners Sloan Valve and it is available in three models. For more info click here.

LEED BUILDINGS

To wrap up our Green Building Week, we rounded up a few of the LEED certified buildings that have invested in the sustainable bathroom solution with our waterfree technology. Each of these buildings have applied policies and procedures to promote environmental stewardship and create healthy work environments for employees.

The USGBC headquarters in Washington, DC was the first to achieve LEED certification. Now they have developed a living lab for people to experience and learn the ins out outs of how green buildings work. If you’re still in D.C for the GreenBuild Expo, it is worth taking a look.

Santa Clara University’s Student Activities Center in Silicone Valley, was rewarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in 2010. With energy efficient features, water saving practices and sustainable design, the University has earned the Gold certification.

Last but not least, in 2013 the M&T Stadium in Baltimore, became the first existing outdoor professional sports facility in the United States – including all NFL and Major League Baseball stadiums – to receive USGBC’s Gold LEED rating.

Hope you had a great week in Washington, D.C. Did you hear that our Hybrid was rewarded Top Ten product of 2016? Very exciting!!!

SPOTLIGHT: HUALIEN COUNTY SCHOOL RENOVATION

Welcome back! Today we will be featuring a new international installation. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

In order to improve school buildings in remote areas, Hualien County retrofitted 63 school restrooms, installing 500 waterfree urinals. The interesting aspect of this renovation, is that the schools are using the new restrooms to educate the community. By holding a presentation, teachers and directors had the chance to explain how our waterfree urinal works and demonstrate the environmental benefits they provide.

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Utilizing students questions in regards to waterfree and tapping into their curiosity, they conducted a healthy discussion on the future of water conservation and how education can go a long way!

Read full article here.

SPOTLIGHT: GREEN BAY PACKAGING

Welcome back! It is time for our Spotlight series. This space is reserved for highlighting all the great things our partners and customers are accomplishing worldwide. These companies, institutions and venues are as much a part of Falcon’s journey to conserve, as our employees. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

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Since 1933, Green Bay Packaging has been integrating sustainable practices to optimize resources without compromising the world around them. From the initial idea of building a better box, whatever it took, Green Bay Packaging has integrated innovation, hard work, and an unwavering commitment to customer service as a part of the foundation of the company.

On our journey as a sustainable company, we strive on more than just saving water with our products. We believe that doing goodmust be embedded in our daily operational practices as well as our involvement with the broader community. Choosing good companies to work with is a big part of our commitment as a B Corporation. And that is why Green Bay has been our main packaging supplier for many years now

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Not only does Green Bay Co. produces most recycled form of packaging that meets market criteria for performance and cost, but they also maintain forest lands and assists private landowners in planting more than five million trees annually. In total they have planted more than 110 million trees planted since 1971 – basically a whole forest!

Make sure to read all of their sustainability initiatives on their website. You will see that it ranges from environmental to social, and everywhere in between.

STORY OF A RETROFIT: LA CONVENTION CENTER

With California approaching its fourth year of extreme drought, the Los Angeles Convention Center  recently launched a massive retrofit project for its over 700 toilets and 30 urinals in a step to achieve greater water conservation. As more than 2 million visitors and 350 events are hosted by the center each year, the project is expected to save the building, as well as the city, millions in gallons annually.

The LA Convention Center worked in conjunction with us and our partner Sloan to outfit its restrooms with the latest in high-efficiency toilets and waterless urinals. The project took place on the week of September 14th.

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As mandated by Governor Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) must reduce its overall water consumption by 16% lest it be subject to fines by the state of up to $10,000 per day. Most recent data by the SWRCB shows that in last August alone the LADWP consumed over 14 billion gallons of potable water with 28% of that water originating from the commercial sector.

Significant efforts then have been made by the LADWP to encourage more businesses and commercial buildings like the LA Convention Center to reduce water use. And knowing that 15% of the water consumed in the commercial sector comes from restroom use, it opens up a huge opportunity for retrofitting.

Way to go LA Convention Center! This is one more venue we are proud to be a part of.

STORY OF A RETROFIT: DOWNEY POOL

Welcome back to our series of post where we will be showing before and after pictures of some of our installations. Have you ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of a bathroom renovation? Well you have come to the right place. Today we will be taking you inside the Downey Recreation Center, in Los Angeles, California.

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Just across the Los Angeles River, you can find the Downey Rec Center as well as the Downey Pool. A few years from now residents be able to experience a full-on, 6.3 acre, river-adjacent park, with much needed green space, a soccer field, stormwater treatment features, and a bicycle hub for the park. For now, residents are able to use the pool across the street. It is one of the oldest public swimming pools in the city of Los Angeles and we were able to retrofit three of their urinals from water-fed to waterfree.

The Downey Rec Center was the venue to the Empty Pool Party last Saturday. While the party was fueled by good times, the heart of it laid with the concern of the drought affecting Los Angeles and surrounding areas. To bring awareness to water conservation, the non profit Dig Deep hosted the party alongside partners such as the LA mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, Falcon and Change the Course.

Together we saved 550,335 gallons of water at the Empty Pool Party, with:

Pledge to save 44,746 gallons with the tickets; vegan, water-friendly tacos from Whole Foods saved 103,432 gallons needed for beef; the drinks were made with recycled pool water; Falcon’s waterless urinals saved 150 gallons and using an empty, seasonal pool saved us 402,000 gallons. And trust us when we say, that after spending a hot day in an empty pool, we felt this one the most!

More about the party here.

Happy weekending guys!

STORY OF A RETROFIT: WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

Welcome back to our series of post where we will be showing before and after pictures of some of our installations. Have you ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of a bathroom renovation? Well you have come to the right place.

Today we will be taking you inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles, California.

Disney Concert Hall

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDCH) is an internationally recognized architectural landmark and one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world. From the stainless steel curves of its striking exterior to the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, the 3.6-acre complex embodies the unique energy and creative spirit of the city of Los Angeles and its orchestra.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, management of the WDCH, knows Water conservation is a big deal in Southern California, so it’s no surprise that it has embodied a sustainable mindset by retrofitting their restrooms.

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11 x 7 Disney-whiteWith fixtures that go hand-in-hand with California’s water conservation goal, the Walt Disney Concert Hall has saved an average of up to 40,000 gallons of water a year per urinal installed.

 

FALCON’S TRIP TO BRAZIL

Last month our team member, Michelle Khalatian (read more about her here) made a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil to welcome the team and see what they have been up to. With our new acquisition,  we continue our strategic goal to be the leader in providing the most comprehensive water conservation technologies. Falcon’s existing technology has saved an estimated total of 20 billion gallons and now we have the opportunity to go beyond and reach different territories.

Here are a few interesting things in the restroom department, Michelle saw along the way.

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This urinal functions as a sink and as a regular bowl below.

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How much are you really saving when you use a low-flow toilet?
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