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Body Shop Awarded for Recycling, Energy-Saving Practices

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San Ramon Body and Detail Shop and its owner, Geoff Johnson, have received the first ever Green Business Award from the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes a San Ramon, Calif., business that has developed initiatives that save energy, reduce waste and improve the environment.

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At the chamber awards luncheon, Johnson and his shop were also recognized by the mayor of San Ramon, the chairman of the San Ramon Economic Development Advisory Committee and the offices of California Assemblypersons Jerry McNerney and Joan Buchanon.

Johnson, who has been in business for 30 years, was honored and surprised to be recognized.

“We started recycling the paint and water in our shops about 10 years ago and have expanded our efforts since then,” he said. “We are always looking for ways to minimize the waste stream so it was a shock to win an award for something we do as a regular part of our business.”

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The shop’s first foray into recycling started with its use of solvent-based automotive paints.

“We bought equipment to separate the solvents from the paint,” Johnson said. “The result was solvents we could reuse and solid pucks of hardened paint that could be disposed of in a landfill.”

The detailing part of the business necessitated recycling water as the body shop does with the paint. The shop has a system that recycles the water to almost drinkable condition, which can then be put safely into the storm sewer.

The shop has also reduced water use by installing restrictive flow nozzles at each water faucet and trigger controls at its hose line outlets. By doing this, the shop has reduced water use to “on demand” only with the hoses and from two gallons to one-half gallon per minute at all inner building faucets.

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“The result is at least 60 percent less overall water consumption,” said Johnson.

Last year, the San Ramon Body Shop also converted to the more environmentally friendly waterborne paint.

“With the help of our supplier FinishMaster and its WaterMasters division, we were one of the first body shops in the area to adopt waterborne,” said Johnson. “The PPG Envirobase waterborne paint we use is a much healthier for our customers and our technicians plus it has excellent color match and good resilience.”

Johnson’s latest initiative has less to do with automobiles and more to do with energy. He has changed all of the light fixtures in his 20,000 sq. ft. building to T8 fluorescent bulbs.

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“By using these low-energy lighting fixtures, we have cut our energy costs by 50 percent while doubling our light output,” he said.

Johnson’s green efforts are trickling down to his staff.

“Even our employees are doing their part,” said Johnson. “Everyone puts their cans and plastic bottles in the recycle bin that we provide. Doing even a little bit can really make a big impact.”


More information:

San Ramon Body and Detail Shop

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