GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — The U.S. Mint says the national coin shortage isn’t a coin supply problem, it’s a coin circulation problem. U.S. Mint Director David Ryder says, “The men and women of the Mint workforce are working as hard as they can to get newly produced coins into the economy. In fact, we’re on track to mint more coins this year than we have produced in over 20 years.”
For two decades the quarter has been the most important coin for Luiz Aguilera, and the livelihood for laundromats. “For the last 20 years, I’ve been coming to this laundromat every 2 weeks,” says Aguilera. Luis says he’s had no problem using quarters to do his two week chore at the City Wash & Clean Laundromat, but some clothes washing customers come prepared with a pocket full of change so, the laundromats don’t have to change plans to get their quarters. Ruben Pacheco works at the Wash Board Laundromat and says, “Customers bring their own quarters most of the time.”
Half of all the laundromats in the country just like this one, use quarters to make their money, but unlike Wash Board, the quarter coin shortage is making other laundromats feel the pinch. Ruben says, “We actually, aren’t experiencing any coin shortage. We recycle all our quarters so, it seems we have a surplus of quarters.”
The coin shortage has forced some laundromats to adapt so you don’t have to. Like showing your dirty, unmentionables before you get your quarters to complete your chore. “We definitely have to make sure we see laundry, but most of the time a lot of people aren’t coming in to get quarters. It’s mostly businesses,” says Pacheco.
It’s mostly businesses that need your help to keep coins circulating, according to the U.S. Mint Laundromats are still rinsing, washing, spinning, and drying your clothes without any help from the mint, but the mint’s asking for your help. “You can help get coins moving by using exact change when making purchases, taking your coins to financial institutions, or turning them in for cash at coin recycling kiosks. Every little bit helps,” says Ryder.