“We felt our customers would be receptive,” said Scott’s general manager Bobby Scott, 45, eldest son of the founder. “It’s good for the environment and it’s saved us money.”
After the body shop began separating plastic parts for recycling at the city’s resource recovery facility, Scott noticed trade magazines writing about how companies were “going green” and figured it was worth exploring.
“Once we got the list of what was required, we saw we already had some of it done,” he said, citing the energy-saving lighting the body shop installed under a PG&E incentive program. “We saw immediate improvement on our bottom line.” He estimates the cost was $5,000 to $8,000, not counting the lighting.
For example, when a car is in a wreck and is dripping anti-freeze or oil, the question is how to keep those contaminants from getting in the ground. The solution: Specially designed pans to catch those fluids.
Leftover silver, black and blue paint is mixed together for use as undercoating. Instead of paying disposal charges for six 55-gallon waste drums, Scott’s is paying for three. New technology at Scott’s includes disposable paint gun liners which use less cleaning solvent, and a vacuum sanding system to contain sanding debris and a covered wash pad for washing cars. Scott also noted a switch to water-borne finishes, which are expected to reduce emission of air pollutants.
“A lot of our industry is driven by accidents,” he said. “While they’re here, people say, ‘Let’s fix up these things, I’m going to keep the car for five more years.’ ”