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Environment industries archive

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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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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.

Mount Gravatt Auto Wreckers
Cleaner Production - Pollution Control Equipment and Redesign of Work Area


Background

Mt Gravatt Auto Wreckers (MGAW) is an automotive dismantling business located in the catchment area of Bulimba creek on Brisbane’s south side. It is a medium sized business and has a staff of three. Since taking over the business in 1995, Mark Breeds, the proprietor, has made significant changes towards improving the quality of his workplace.

He was confronted with the problem of implementing an Environmental Management System to a site that had been neglected for years. Mark not only had to deal with a contaminated site, but also with the problem of trying to protect the nearby creek from runoff from his property.

Issue

Prior to his arrival, all processes associated with car dismantling were carried out in the open. Oils, grease, coolants and brake fluids were dumped on site. As a result of this, not only was the land contaminated, but the creek was being polluted by contaminated stormwater emanating from his premises.

Driven by the desire to rectify the situation and improve the image of the auto-dismantling industry (traditionally, auto-dismantlers have a reputation for being a dirty business), Mark set about a major cleanup operation. He installed pollution control equipment and redesigned his work area to combat his pollution problem.

Solution

First, he bunded and covered the area in which waste oil drums were stored, to prevent spills entering the stormwater system. He also installed a bunded wash down area, which collects liquid waste and directs it to sewage.

He has recently installed a triple interceptor under the trade waste guidelines which allows waste water, oil and coolants to be diverted to the sewer.

To reduce environmental risks, Mark has put in place a management program which includes:

Benefits

Implementation of the above measures has resulted in the following benefits:

As the environmental performance of MGAW has gone from below standard to compliance, and beyond compliance to best practice, it is apparent that even traditionally "dirty businesses" can clean up their act as long as there is a commitment to change, and appropriate strategies are implemented.

Further Developments

MGAW has continued to benefit from these and other initiatives, including a drip-tray built to collect coolant, and use of oil hazard matting to trap oil spills underneath car bodies. 

The company has since discovered an oil interceptor on its premises and, after cleaning and restoration, is now using it to prevent contamination of the stormwater system.

Contact

Mark Breeds
Mount Gravatt Auto Wreckers
96 Wecker Road
Mansfield Qld 4122
Phone: (07) 3849 8955
Fax: (07) 3849 4778
Date of implementation:1995-97
Date of further initiatives: Ongoing.
Case study prepared:1997 
Date last modified: May 2001.