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Thursday, 23 August 2012 17:51

Scott’s Body Shop Certified by ‘Monterey Bay Green’

For Scott’s Body Shop in Santa Cruz, CA, thinking green started a few years ago as more car parts were being made of plastic. Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on a larger trash container, the owners changed their operations to recycle more and waste less. That mindset led to their recognition as the first body shop in the city of Santa Cruz to be certified green. The first in the county to be certified green is Professional Touch in Scotts Valley. Both “were exceptional and went above and beyond” the requirements, according to Jo Fleming of Monterey Bay Green Business, the certifying entity.

“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.’ ”

 

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