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Thursday, 02 May 2019 21:20

Common Mistakes Body Shops Make When Recycling & Staying Green

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Wade Scheel, director of governmental affairs at Stericycle Environmental Solutions, provides related education and training services to body shop owners striving to be compliant and green. Wade Scheel, director of governmental affairs at Stericycle Environmental Solutions, provides related education and training services to body shop owners striving to be compliant and green.

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Wade Scheel, director of governmental affairs at Stericycle Environmental Solutions, has been working at the 30-year-old compliance company for 11 years and has three decades of industry experience.

 

Stericycle specializes in collecting and disposing regulated substances, such as medical waste and sharps, pharmaceuticals, hazardous waste, and providing services for recalled and expired goods. It also provides related education and training services for many companies, including collision repair shops.

 

Headquartered in Lake Forest, IL, with many more bases of operation around the world, Stericycle maintains toxic waste incinerators in Utah and North Carolina.

 

Q: What are the most common slip-ups that body shops encounter when it comes to disposing hazardous waste and recycling?

 

A: A couple common mistakes body shops make that fall into the "low hanging fruit" category for inspectors come immediately to mind. One of the very first things that any business, including a body shop, [does] is identify all of the waste that's regulated and considered hazardous with special disposal requirements or can be recycled. Those items that can go into the trash and those that don't---that's where many problems begin. That's one of the first things that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says when it comes to hazardous waste, which is to determine what is hazardous and what isn't. Shops assume it's just trash that can go in the dumpster, and in many cases, they're wrong.

 

The other common error that many shops make is not putting items in the [right] containers and not carefully labeling them. For example, solvent-contaminated rags need to be stored in a secure container and labeled appropriately. Improper storing and labeling are two things that inspectors find more often than any other violations, as well as throwing things in their dumpsters that can't go there because it can't be in the normal waste stream.


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