Green technology features can help rental companies reduce waste as well as save money.
Take the Payless Car Rental serving Philadelphia International Airport, for example. When the company recently moved into its new facility, the owners wanted to include upgraded materials, including green features.
“Our facility was outdated and we were renting, and we wanted our own property and facility to cater to our business,” says James Easley, vice president of three Payless franchise locations in greater Philadelphia.
To reduce water usage, Payless added a new water recycling car wash.
The car wash system, from GEOMAT, recycles water from the car wash. The water flows into the mat and into a filtration system. Then it fills up a holding tank and goes through a pump to use for washing cars, says Easley.
“With the GEOMAT, our water bill has gone from a couple of hundred dollars per month to $64 per month,” says Easley.
In addition to saving water, GEOMAT also helps companies avoid fines for not following rules on wastewater runoff. The Clean Water Act — a federal law designed to eliminate toxic substances from being released into the water supply — has created stricter city regulations on wastewater runoff.
According to GEOMAT, its product works in conjunction with car wash systems by capturing waste-water runoff, filtering it and then either pumping it back into the system for reuse or sending it to the town’s sanitary sewer line.
Sludge is retained in the bottom mat of the patented containment system, which GEOMAT cleans and disposes of about once a year.
“Our mission at GEOMAT is to provide rental car companies a cost effective EPA- and OSHA-approved solution,” says Al DeChard, president of GEOMAT. “The organizations that are faced with the challenges of preventing fluids and contaminants from entering the environment are protected by our patented waste water recovery system, enabling their operations to be fully compliant of federal and state law.”
Rather than removing used motor oil, Payless implemented a green initiative to reuse waste oil and heat the facility. The system stores the excess oil in a tank and then it can be used in a heater for the building, according to Sam DeAngelis, franchise owner.
To convert the used oil to heat, Payless purchased a Clean Burn multi-fuel heater (CB2500) from Craft Oil Corp. “We do our own oil changes and then place the oil from every oil change in a 1,000-gallon holding tank,” says Easley. “Then that oil is pumped to the heater.”
The CB-2500 furnace can burn both standard fuel oil and used waste oils, including used crankcase, ATF, hydraulic and #2, #4 and #5 fuel oils, says Clean Burn.
According to the company, a Clean Burn customer who burns 1,500 gallons of waste motor oil yearly could realize a two-year payback on their Clean Burn system — while reducing the responsibility related to the removal of used oil.
The Wow Factor
With its green and updated features, Payless’ redesigned facility features the kind of touches that give the company a better image.
“It’s not a typical off-airport rental building that people are used to going to,” says DeAngelis. “We wanted to give the customer a ‘wow’ feeling when they walked into the office."