The automotive industry involves many hazardous materials: automotive fluids (engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc), parts washing and other cleaning solvents, paint and thinners, and battery acid. Therefore, proper waste management is vitally important.
Incoming hazardous materials should be stored within a bermed area (secondary containment) to restrict the potential movement of any spilled fluid. Otherwise, store these items in low-traffic areas of the shop floor and away from any floor drains, storm drains, or open doors.
Vehicles arriving at the shop for repair should be assessed for leaks. Any vehicle found to be leaking fluids must have a drip pan placed underneath to collect the effluent. This is especially important for vehicles parked outside.
Wastewater from steam cleaning, engine shampooing or caustic cleaning operations is to be discharged into the sanitary sewer. Any vehicle washing runoff should be diverted into an oil-water separator connected to the sanitary sewer. The oil-water separator must be pumped out on a regular basis to keep it from failing.
Use dry clean-up methods for the shop: sweep areas rather than flush. Soak up any spilled hazardous material with absorbent. Previously clean items that have come into contact with hazardous materials (e.g. used oil filters, dirty rags, used absorbent) should be considered hazardous waste. Store all hazardous wastes indoors, or under cover. Hazardous waste must not be allowed to enter either the storm drains or the municipal solid waste stream. Dirty rags should be laundered at industrial laundromats. For fire safety, make sure to store flammable wastes away from any sources or potential sources of ignition.
For spray paint booths, the filters should be changed frequently, depending on the amount of painting being performed. Used paint booth filters contaminated with oil-based paints are hazardous waste and must not be disposed of as regular garbage. Depending on the chemical inside, empty aerosol containers may be hazardous waste; puncture empty aerosols to depressurize them, allow any fluid to drain out into a hazardous waste receptacle, and recycle the metal once the container is dry. Click on the Painting and Decorating Waste tab for more information on best practices associated with paint use.
Old car batteries should be stored in an area that is dry and away from any storm or floor drains. It is recommended use plastic bins with lids for battery storage. Have acid-neutralizing agent on-hand for any leaking battery acid spills.
For residents, perform vehicle repairs inside a garage or carport, where rain will not generate runoff from your work area. Do not discharge any hazardous wastes into the storm sewer or the regular garbage. Facilities that take residential amounts of automotive fluids, car batteries, and oil filters include Canadian Tire and the Scott Road Return-it Depot (12111 86 Ave, Surrey).