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Environment industries archive


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

CarLovers Carwash Limited
Cleaner Production - Carwash Efficiency

This case study is no longer current with respect to the Company's business activities and operations and was not updated in the review of 2001, but is retained for informational, educational and historical purposes.


Since 1988, CarLovers Carwash Limited has operated a network of automatic and self-serve carwash facilities throughout Australia. CarLovers currently has 87 carwash outlets operating in Australia.

CarLovers service centre

CarLovers service centre

Pre-excisting Process

Previous car wash facilities discharged all their wash water to sewer and did not reuse the wash water.

Cleaner Production Initiative

CarLovers is totally committed to cleaner production practices and each new site employs the latest technology to save on light and heat and conserve and recycle water. All water is filtered and treated for reuse.

Only biodegradable, non toxic detergents are used. Some of the programs that CarLovers has implemented are discussed below:

Reclaiming and recycling water

The water reclamation system used at CarLovers involves:

Generating heat from the atmosphere

Most sites have an energy efficient heat pump to heat the wash water. The Heat Wave Heat Pump extracts heat energy from the atmosphere for use 24 hours a day throughout the year. Heat generated in this way is over six times more efficient than a gas or oil fired water heating system. This means that for every kilowatt of energy used by the heat pump, up to 5.5 kilowatts of energy is produced.

Conserving energy for lighting

With the help of consulting engineers and a team of energy auditors, CarLovers developed new ways to minimise energy usage. Light fittings which reduce energy by 50% while providing high, safe levels of illumination, are used at most sites across the country.

Advantages of the Process

CarLovers systems allow the reuse of up to 80% of all water used during washing. This amounts to an annual saving in excess of 1 billion litres of water.

Cleaner Production Incentives

CarLovers was established in response to community concern about chemicals, oils and grease entering storm water drains and eventually contaminating natural waterways such as rivers and lakes. As kerbside car washing is increasingly discouraged in all states, car owners needed a place to wash their cars efficiently without harming the environment. CarLovers provided the answer.


No barriers were encountered by CarLovers in establishing and identifying the needs of the business.

Date of implementation: 1988-96
Case Study Prepared: May 1997 by ACCP
Last reviewed: June 2001.
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