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Local salon aids in oil-spill cleanup

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Westborough – TrUe Salon, with locations in Westborough and Framingham, has joined thousands of hair salons around North America in collecting hair to aid in oil-spill cleanups worldwide. The hair is being sent to the San Francisco-based nonprofit organization Matter of Trust. The group uses hair, fur and wool waste to make hair mats and hair booms (nylon tubes stuff ed with hair) that absorb oil from water.

Alabama hairstylist Phil McCrory came up with the idea after thinking about the amount of oil that hair col- lects naturally, making hair an efficien t an d abundan t material for collecting petroleum spills.

Lisa Craig Gautier, president of Matter of Trust, explained, “This is a free and renewable resource that can be used to protect and clean the environment… and there are green jobs just waiting in the creation of hair mats and hair booms.”

She explained that the hair is currently being sent to China, Turkey and Thailand to be woven into hair mats because they are the only countries that currently create this type of textile product. However, she continued, hair booms are made by volunteers around the page United States. The volunteers

stuff hair into used nylon stockings to create booms that can be dragged along oil-saturated water to collect the oil.

Matter of Trust is currently filling 19 donated warehouses along the Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida coastlines with hair booms.

Gautier explained that BP was in contact with Matter of Trust to learn more about the hair booms and mats. Originally, one of the departments at BP expressed interest in using the available resources, but Gautier said another BP department called to hold off on involvement.

“To be honest, one department didn’t even know the other existed,” she explained. Despite her confusion with official s at BP, Gautier said there is plenty of material stockpiled for use by local towns and parishes aff ected by the spill.

“It is important that any community that is interested in the hair booms has an eff ective Emergency Management plan in place,” she cautioned. “There must be a Hazardous Material team that can dispose of the used oil appropriately,” she said.

When TrUe Salon owner Tracy Townsend learned of the program through a client, she and her husband said to each other, “We have got to get on board and do this,” she explained. Townsend estimated that her salon locations will fill and send a 55-gallon bag of hair to Matter of Trust once every two weeks.

Townsend hopes that other salons or groomers in the area will take the time to learn about the program at www.matteroftrust.org.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=7177

Posted by on May 28 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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