February 22, 2018

Automotive Breakdown… by Denny Mandeville, Owner/Canyon Automotive, Sedona

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People often ask about our “GREEN SHOP” certification and what does it mean?  Green Shop is a program sponsored by both the Automotive Service Association Arizona and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to promote the best business practices for controlling, and reducing, the waste stream. In this case waste stream is not a running water type stream, but the flow of waste material that can wind up in the water through landfills and run off. A business alters the way it normally handles its waste and energy needs to be “green”, and by reducing our waste stream, reducing other company’s waste streams.

In our case, reducing our waste stream meant our dumpster is only picked up bi-monthly – and seldom full, even then. We separate cardboard, paper, plastic, aluminum and steel for re-cycling. We purchase popular petroleum products in bulk to reduce the number of plastic bottles, and eliminate the small amount of product residue that remains in each bottle that would otherwise go into the landfill. We purchase re-refined antifreeze in bulk and use closed system coolant flushing equipment so the old coolant will be recycled rather than dumped down the drain. Bleeding brakes using closed loop equipment is another method to eliminate the old fluid from finding its way into the environment.

Our used oil system uses a semi-sealed procedure; the drained oil from oil changes is pumped from the smaller collection tank into a larger storage tank to be picked up by a re-cycling company. This method reduces the potential for spills. For any product we purchase in plastic bottles, the “empty” plastic bottles are drained for several hours into a waste container to provide clean plastic going into the recycle bin.  Used oil filters are drained overnight, the old filter is then recycled. “Closed Loop” means the old product is captured by the equipment as new product is put in.

We have re-lamped our shop to use  low energy T-8 lamps, and use “Energy Star” rated computers, fax, printers, etc., so our electrical requirements  have been reduced. The increased use of battery powered tools and electric vehicle lifts has reduced the need for the heavy electrical demand air compressor. Further, a newer, more efficient, compressor has been installed.

Floors are no longer washed with soap and water, but are damp mopped, thus any petroleum contaminated dirt is no longer being washed down the drains into the watershed. Spills are contained and put into waste containers for disposal by re-cycling companies. We have eliminated our dependency of aerosol products using CFC’s, or CO2 as a propellant by purchasing in bulk whenever possible and using compressed air for propellant in specialized dispensers. Our products are researched to make certain chlorines are not part of an aerosol product.

And, last, but not finally, our work orders, repair orders, and correspondence are printed on recycled paper.  As Kermit the Frog would say – “It’s not easy being green”, but here at Canyon Automotive, we believe it is the right thing to do.

Our outdoor lighting, for night time security, is low density and meets dark sky recommendations.

Additionally, we purchase products in bulk (eliminating plastic bottles) wherever practical. Our chemicals are chlorine free. Being green is not always cheap, or easy- but it is the right thing to do, and good for Sedona.

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