Frequently Asked Questions
Some questions about CCAR-GreenLink®
and environmental responsibility
What is CCAR-GreenLink®? CCAR-GreenLink® is the National Environmental Compliance Assistance Center for Auto Repair – an information center available at any time to shop owners, service technicians and anyone else interested in environmental compliance information related to the automotive industry. The available information is to assist automotive shop owners and technicians to better understand their general (federal) environmental responsibilities.In addition, there is information that can help the owner or technician decide on alternative technologies, materials, etc. that could reduce business costs and generated wastes.

How do I contact CCAR-GreenLink® for information? In addition to this Web site, CCAR-GreenLink® can be contacted at its toll-free telephone number, 1-888-GRN-LINK (476-5465).

How much does it cost to get this information? Information from CCAR-GreenLink® through this Web site or the toll-free number is free and available to anyone.

Where can I find industrial catalogs for items such as paint spray booths, automatic car wash systems, parts washers, etc., for an organization that provides environmental services to automotive dealerships? Major manufacturers or distributors of these products have catalogs and/or Web sites available. For paint spray booths, automotive paint companies such as PPG or DuPont might have spray booths as part of their paint systems, or they would know sources in the industry that build and install spray booths. For car wash systems, seek someone who has fleet operations like the U.S. Postal Service or UPS. They have wash systems on site and could provide a variety of companies that make such systems. Parts washers are found in several catalogs from manufacturers that cater to the repair side of the industry. It’s possible to purchase the individual parts washers and then buy separately the cleaning solvent or water-based cleaner to use in the parts washer. In addition, there are vendors (example: Safety-Kleen) that offer an entire system of parts washers and fluids and relates services.

What are the procedures on the disposal of R 134 (one-three-four) and R 12 (one-two) virgin auto a/c refrigerant tanks? Make sure all the refrigerant from the tank is removed using normal/conventional removal methods. If the tank is emptied, determine if the refrigerant company will take back the refrigerant tank as part of a recycling program. If recycling the tank is not possible, you may consider the municipal or county landfill. They may have a program of handling emptied refrigerant tanks or allow disposal through normal solid waste removal, i.e., shop dumpster. Another possibility is finding a scrap metal dealer that will handle the tanks as scrap metal.
(Source: U.S. EPA, Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance)

What is the proper way to handle a battery acid spill in the shop? Since acid residue from a battery is corrosive and may contain other toxics, such as lead, it is hazardous waste. In case of an acid spill, neutralize the acid (with baking soda or lime) and dispose of as hazardous waste.
(Source: U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance)

What can you tell me about microbial cleaners as an alternative to petroleum-based solvents? Microbial cleaners, which utilize soap to loosen grease from parts and microbes to decompose grease, can be used for parts cleaning (off- or on-car), and for small cleanups. They offer an effective alternative to hazardous parts washing methods. With prior approval, the spent cleaners can be discharged to a public sewer system.
(Source: University of Northern Iowa, Small Business Pollution Prevention Center, Vehicle Maintenance)

Are there federal regulations documenting the record keeping, storage and disposal requirements of catalytic converters? The shop owner needs to tag/label the converter and keep it on site for 15 days. Afterward, the converter may be disposed of in a landfill; however, you may want to consider recycling the rare metals found in the converter and the scrap metal.Check the section on catalytic converters in the CCAR-GreenLink® “Environmental Checklist” for more specific information.
(Source: U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance)

Can fuel filters be comingled with spent oil filters when they are destined for recycling? Can empty aerosol cans destined for recycling be co-mingled under 40CFR261.6(a)(3)(iii)? You can add an aerosol cans and fuel filters to your used oil filter pile – but there are some things to know first.Check with your recycler. Depending on their business, they may or may not want to handle fuel filters or aerosol cans with used oil filters. Make sure the company you employ has a recycling program for the scrap metal or contracts with a company that handles scrap metal.

You should drain the fuel filters until no free fuel is observed or utilize all of the aerosol contents so there is no more usable product.
(Source: U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance)

If someone spills oil on the floor and puts down “Floor Dry” (or a similar product) to clean it up, how should they dispose of the Floor Dry? Contact your used oil handler. They may want the “Floor Dry” material separate from the used oil or allow it to be commingled. Consider using the “Floor Dry” for energy recovery within your shop or send it offsite for energy recovery. Manage it like your used oil.
(Source: U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance)

How should we dispose of rags that have been soiled in petroleum? Wring out out any oil from the rags into the used oil drum. To prevent combustion of the oily rags, store them in a metal drum with lid, and label the drum as containing “used rags.” Then seek out and contract with a reputable laundry that accepts hazardous waste items, i.e., oil or solvent rags.A second option is to take the rags, wring out excess oil (if any, into the used oil drum) and place them in a shop receptacle can and then into the shop’s dumpster. While this response is not environmentally-friendly, if the shop operates as a conditionally exempt small quantity generator , and the addition of these rags do not cause the shop to become a small quantity generator, it is an alternative means of disposal.

If a shop chooses the second option, it is strongly suggested that the owner or manager contact their state’s hazardous waste program office. Not all states recognize the conditionally exempt small quantity generator designation.
(Source: U.S. EPA Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance)

Where can I find additional information pertaining to “Paints & Coatings”? Contact the University of Northern Iowa at 1-800-422-3109, or through the
Iowa Waste Reduction Center.