Material Use and Supplies:
- Switch to non-chlorinated compounds, such as a citrus based solvent for parts cleaning.
- Cover all solvent containers and turn off your solvent sink when not in use. Solvent losses from evaporation and spills can range from 25 percent to 40 percent.
- Always use spring loaded funnels or pumps to dispense and collect fluids such as antifreeze, solvents and used oil.
- Recycle used oil, antifreeze and solvents. Recycle filters after drip draining or spinning out the oil.
- Use a filter on parts cleaners to extend the life of the solvent. Use dirty solvent when first cleaning parts.
- Consider using burnable absorbents to clean up used oil. Often your used oil hauler can recycle them as well as your used oil.
- Pre-rinse parts before using hot tanks or jet spray washers.
- Switch to a recirculating spray cabinet for cleaning parts instead of using solvent or hot tanks.
- Purchase or use a solvent distillation service for solvent-based cleaners. The material can be reused at a cost savings to your shop.
- Keep hazardous and non-hazardous wastes separate to minimize disposal costs.
- Maintain an accurate record of inventory to prevent overstocking of hard to dispose of items.
- Read the labels carefully. Biodegradable does not necessarily mean environmentally sound, or that the product is exempt from regulations. So called "safe" products that are mixed with hazardous materials like solvents or heavy metals may have to be handled as hazardous wastes. Maintain disposal records.
Safety: Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls:
- Remove parts slowly after they have been in solvent tanks to prevent spillage.
- Use drip pads and pans to catch leaking fluids when working on vehicles.
- Keep parts cleaning equipment near service bays to reduce spills and drips.
- Immediately clean up all spills with rags or dry absorbent.
- Store solvents and used shop towels in metal cabinets and keep away from heat sources.
- Use a rag service for shop towels to reduce oily dumpster waste and a "throw it away" attitude.
- Purchase your most frequently used materials in bulk to minimize container waste.
- Seal floor drains to prevent materials from entering the sanitary or storm sewers.
- Don't wash off your parking lots and garage bays into grease traps, sumps, or storm drains. Keep run-off to a minimum by using dry cleaners and absorbents to clean up any spills.
- Recycle cardboard and other bulk material that you are throwing in your dumpster - empty dumpsters - mean lower disposal costs.
For more information, visit the following pages in the VA SBAP web site:
The Virginia Office of Small Business Assistance would like to thank the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Pollution Prevention Unit for the use of this fact sheet. Information for this fact sheet was obtained from the City of Austin Solid Waste Services.