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Thursday, 02 May 2019 21:20

Common Mistakes Body Shops Make When Recycling & Staying Green

Written by
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.

Index

 

Q: Many MSOs have an individual or a department that handles hazardous waste and recycling. But for the smaller independent shops, might it be a little more difficult to achieve this due to time constraints or financial considerations?

 

A: Yes, but in the end the regulations are identical for big chains and small independent shops. Each state has its own set of regulations, so we tell shops that one of their first steps is to identify those requirements that pertain to what they're throwing out. They need to determine what things can be recycled and those that can go into the trash bin. They must know what is identified as hazardous waste at both the state level and what EPA says.

 

The next step is to design a program around how these items are going to be collected and setting up agreements or contracts with service providers. Many of the waste companies out there are excellent in helping shops with this process, including making recommendations on what they can accept or vice versa.

 

There are also a lot of consultants out there whose only job is to make sure that shops adhere to the regulations. They will also give you guidance about special waste streams such as anti-freezes, waste oils, solvents waste, filters, and aerosols that can't ever go in the trash. The problems arise when there is a lack of communication within a shop or when their disposal/recycling program isn't clear in one way or another.

 

Q: Is it smart to make one of your techs, estimators or managers your gatekeeper and in-house expert when it comes to recycling and hazardous waste disposal?

 

A: Yes, we always suggest that shops should centralize their efforts by designating one person to coordinate every aspect of their program. The rules are very specific and there are a lot of regulations, so making one individual responsible seems to be the best way to go. The fewer people who need to know all of this information, [the] less misinterpretation [there will be].


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