P2 for Autobody Repair Shops

July 1999

As an extended service of _____________________________________________, you will receive fact sheets to help you learn how to investigate, select and use waste minimization opportunities for your industry. Reducing or eliminating hazardous substances is an important business decision. When you use hazardous chemicals in your processes, you are not just making a one-time purchase of the material, you are also paying for:

  • Proper storage and disposal
  • Permits
  • Protecting worker health
  • submitting required reports
  • training employees
  • These costs add up, and finding alternatives to these substances should be a priority. Alternatives are available and often out-perform old process equipment and chemicals.

    How can auto body repair shops' pollution prevention efforts help industrial laundries?

    Often small amounts of hazardous materials are left in industrial shop towels and wipes after use. The wipes are usually not treated as hazardous waste and are often cleaned by industrial laundries for re-use.

    Wipes and towels from auto body repair shops often contain cleaners, oils, solvents and paints composed of hazardous materials. These chemicals are transferred to the industrial laundry's wastewater during washing.

    Auto body repair shops' efforts to reduce the amount of hazardous substances they use and discard in wipes will reduce the pollutant load in the laundries' wastewater. Pollution prevention efforts to substitute less hazardous cleaners, oils, solvents and paints will benefit both auto body shops and industrial laundries.

    The pollution prevention ideas in this fact sheet may help you lessen the overall impact of your facility on the environment as well as potentially reduce operating costs.

    P2 Opportunities

    Identify and Use Less Hazardous Paints and Coatings
    Less toxic paints and coatings mean less hazardous materials left on shop towels and wipes.

    Identify and Use Less Hazardous Solvents and Cleaners
    Less hazardous cleaners mean less hazardous materials left on shop towels and wipes.

    Reduce the Amount of Solvents and Cleaners Used
    Employees often have ideas on how to use less solvents. Check with them.

    Spray Gun Cleaning Tips

    Recover Solvents and Cleaners from Towels and Wipes Before They Are Sent to the Laundry. Recovery methods include:

    Other Opportunities


    For Free, Non-Regulatory Assistance and Referrals, contact PPRC.

    Produced by the Northwest Partnership for Environmental Technology Education for the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center, 513 First Ave. West, Seattle, WA 98119
    phone: 206-352-2050, fax: 206-352-2049, e-mail: office@pprc.org, WWW address: http://www.pprc.org