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Tuesday, 07 May 2019 20:00

Auto Body Shop Owner Goes From a Big City to a Small Town

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When Dave Zamora moved from the Bay Area to open Zamora Auto Body in Valley Springs, CA, he thought things would get better, but now he's not getting paid enough on his repairs and having issues recycling bumpers. When Dave Zamora moved from the Bay Area to open Zamora Auto Body in Valley Springs, CA, he thought things would get better, but now he's not getting paid enough on his repairs and having issues recycling bumpers.

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 Zamora has faced many difficulties while running his small shop in a tiny town. "My main issue is that I'm having problems recycling plastic bumpers properly. The only recycling company in this area is more than an hour away. So, it doesn’t make sense financially to get one of my employees to load up the bumpers and drive them there and back. I lose an employee for at least two hours and if I want to hire someone else to do the job, it's costly. I have always done everything I could to run a green business, but now it's a lot harder because of my location."

 

Despite no longer having DRPs anymore, Zamora faces an ongoing battle with insurance adjustors over recycling costs. "I told them that no one will come all this way to pick up bumpers," he said. "When I tried to charge them for disposal, they said no way. One claims rep supervisor told me to cut the bumpers into small pieces and put them in the regular trash, but I won't do that. It's illegal and irresponsible—I could get cited and fined. The insurance companies don't seem to care about the environment—they just want to save money and get the lowest price they can."

 

With 50 bumpers or more stacking up and no one willing to pick them up, Zamora is stuck and not happy. "LKQ used to pick them up and haul them away, but not anymore. We do have a recycler here in town, but they won't take them anymore either. If I want to cut them up, it takes around 10-15 minutes for each one, which means I lose an employee, which is something I can't afford, especially if we're busy."

 

Furthermore, with Sacramento more than 60 miles away, Zamora has trouble getting his parts on time and at reasonable rates. "Some part suppliers told me they cannot come here anymore," he said. "The suppliers, who do come, despite the distance, charge me fuel charges. When I asked the insurance companies to cover those costs, they said no way–they refuse to pay."


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