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Mechanic shop recognized as eco-friendly

ENCINITAS — While Furgerson’s Garage has been a mainstay in downtown for nearly 30 years, the shop was recently recognized for its efforts to uphold high environmental standards.
The state’s Department of Toxic Substance Control recently certified Furgerson’s as a “Green Station.” It is one of two in the city out of only 36 in all of California. The Bureau of Automotive Repair joined the state agency that regulates the use and recycling of hazardous waste products in recognizing the shop’s efforts to voluntarily prevent chemical waste and pollution.
Greg Stone, a longtime customer, said he wasn’t surprised to hear that the shop received the certification. “I just assumed from working with them for so long that they were doing the right thing,” he said. “I’m glad they’re recognized for the work they do; it’s a great crew.”
Automotive repair facilities have an important responsibility to properly handle and dispose of the toxic substances generated during the course of business according to Furgerson’s owner Brad Dow. “We are even more aware of how important it is to run a clean shop since we are so close to the beach,” he said. “Nothing runs out of these (auto service) bays and into the storm drains — nothing.”
“As an automotive repair professional in California, I feel it’s my responsibility to do all that I can to protect our environment, not only by properly performing Smog Check inspection and repairs that aid in keeping our air clean, but also handling and disposing of the toxic substances we generate in an environmentally friendly way,” Dow said. “In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, I think it’s even more important that repair shops such as mine do everything possible to follow the guidelines to help reduce our carbon footprint.”
The family-owned and operated business has been operating with the environment in mind before certifications were available. “Essentially we have always done the things required by the Bureau of Automotive Repair and toxic substance control department,” Dow said. “You want to have the lowest environmental impact while you’re working on cars.”
With such a potentially hazardous business, the shop takes care in cleaning spills, parts and equipment. “We have always recycled oil, coolant, used car batteries, air conditioning refrigerant — everything we can,” Dow said. “We’re a really busy shop and as far as recycling it’s just the right thing to do.”
Not only are the green garage designation and its implications important to the staff at Furgerson’s, but also to the customer. According to Nabil Yacoub from the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the consumer has an opportunity to be educated as well. “Green garages can assist the car owner in understanding how to lower emissions and keep the vehicle in better shape,” he said. According to the shop’s website, it offers a plethora of services to achieve that goal. For instance gas mileage-related diagnostics and repairs to reduce fuel consumption are available as well as diagnosis and repair of any oil, fluid, coolant or refrigerant leak.
“It costs a little extra to have the recycling and spill containers and a little more labor time,” Dow said. “There is a cost to it, but it’s far outweighed by the positive environmental impact.”
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