Get Control Over Your Shop's Waste!
YOUR SHOP AND WASTE MANAGEMENT
Auto shops handle and utilize various hazardous chemicals that, if not managed properly, can have a major negative impact not only on the environment but also on the shop. Wasted inventory, wasted labor, reduced productivity, time spent on waste administration and paperwork, and waste disposal costs are all consequences of improper waste management. Auto shops have the potential to significantly improve profitability with effective waste minimization strategies.
Here are a few strategies that auto shops can employ in order to reduce the waste they produce:
Solvents and cleaners:
A typical operation found at most auto repair shops involves the cleaning of engine parts, tools, and other items. Cleaning solvents can be harmful to workers, but there is a lot that can be done to prevent health and safety risks in your shop.
- Create guidelines for when solvents and cleaners should be used.
- Use citrus-based cleaning solvents.
- Look into using more environmentally friendly forms of cleaning, like utilizing steam cleaners, and aqueous cleaners.
Automotive fluids and other wastes:
During vehicle repair, it is common that spills and leaks into the floor may occur and they can contain hazardous chemichals or potentially harmful waste materials.
- Consider accepting customers’ used oil as an additional service.
- Recycle fluids like oils, coolants, and refrigerants.
- When spills occur, use tools instead of absorbents to cleanup.
- Provide drip pans to employees so fluids do not leak onto the floor.
- Seal off floor drains so that no hazardous liquids end up in the sewer system.
Body repair and painting:
Auto body repair and painting usually generate several kinds of potentially hazardous waste and release pollutants to the environment. You can significantly reduce environmental issues, improve shop efficiency and reduce operating costs, by making simple changes in your shop practices.
- Use sweep brooms and vacuums to collect filler dust, preventing it from being flushed down the sewer.
- Instead of using masking paper, use biodegradable spray-on masking.
- Provide customers with left-over paint for touch-up purposes.
- Invest in the painting skills of your employees; efficient use of paint minimizes waste.
- Reuse cleaning solvents until too dirty to use.
While storing, handling, or disposing of waste materials, it is important to have extreme precaution to ensure the safety of the workplace.
- Control who has access to these materials and when their use is warranted.
- Use the correct storage equipment for each type of hazardous material.
- Have incompatible materials be stored separately.
- Keep hazardous and non-hazardous waste separately.
By using these guidelines you can ensure the safety of your shop, and of the environment.