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How green are we?

Most garages are very Green today,but not in the 1960s.?

I can remember many years ago when I was an apprentice mechanic at a small British Leyland garage in Batley West Yorkshire. The floor was always covered in old oil and grease, which transferred onto our work boots, this was then trailed every where. The guy in the shop next door would go mad as we made a mess on his floor with our dirty boots . The mess also went home with us. We wore dirty work-wear and my mother had to put them in a special wash to keep them from touching other clothing and contaminating them. We would burn the old oil in winter in a small stove, giving off black putrid smoke from the chimney,(what a mess). Our smoke would mingle with the smoke from the nearby textile mill chimneys. We had very bad fog at times during winter time and its not surprising, the amount of pollution that went into the atmosphere . The cars that we worked on were no better, kicking out large clouds of smoke when we revved the engine after a repair or service.

Everything we threw away just went into the bin and then to the landfill site. Old oil filters were just thrown out, old tyres were thrown out, nothing was recycled and I am sure that some of the pollutants were just thrown in the small river at the back of the garage. This was called “Batley Beck”, and was so polluted that no wild existed ,this beck was to run into the river Calder where all the waste products from the textile mills was emptied, you could almost walk on the water it was so polluted with old oils and dies. I suspect that many of these poisons would have been carcinogenic.

Things nowadays are completely different. My garage here in Halifax is almost 100% green. Most of the oils we use today are synthetic oils or re-cycled oils, these are made from different plant materials and are then mixed with oils from fossil fuels. Many cars are now run on Bio-Deisel, which are also made from plants and converted into fuel. Our old waste oil is now stored in a large tank and collected every so often to be re-cycled and not thrown away in the local river.

All our waste paper is shredded and used as packing in boxes. Old oil filters are now saved a collected for re-cycling, none of these are thrown away in land fill sites the way they used to be. All our scrap battery and our old lead weights from wheel balancing are sent to be made into new batteries, nothing is wasted all the old battery components , even the old plastic casings are made into new batteries, a massive improvement from the past.

It's fair to say that most garages are now very environmentally friendly we certainly are here at Pellon Halifax

Old tyres were the biggest problem, you can still see old tyres that have been dumped in a local beauty spots by unscrupulous tyre dealers that do not any morals. We dispose of our old tyres in a completely legal and correct way. Our tyres are collected by a locally registered collector and then they are taken to a shredding facility on a farm in North Yorkshire. The trail of all my waste has been followed and checked on from my depot all the way to the final facility and we are very proud of our green image. All our scrap metals are taken on a weekly basis to a scrap facility on Queens road in Halifax and the only thing that we have left is one bin that contains waste food and a few packing boxes from our small canteen. All our work wear is now collected and washed using non polluting detergents by a reputable and controlled company, no dirty oily water going down the drains.

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