By default we are an environmentally responsible company, however we take steps to lighten our footprint even further. The sheer fact is that our core business is maintaining current vehicle stocks to run as efficiently as possible. A well maintained and serviced car produces less emissions, keeps its fluids where they are supposed to be and lasts longer, therefore requiring less energy and resources to replace.
Unfortunately in doing our job there are some toxic byproducts. We do our best mitigate their impact by recycling and reusing them as follows:
-Any cardboard, paper, glass or plastics are taken to local facilities.
-Waste oil is collected and taken to Christchurch where it is re-refined and used as fuel in the shipping industry.
-Our waste filters are sent to Christchurch where they are crushed, any waste oil is extracted from them and the steel casings re-cycled.
-Used car parts are sorted into electrical, steel and aluminium and sent for recycling.
-Used car batteries are sold and the heavy metals in them are taken for re-manufacture in new batteries.
-Glycol based coolants are recycled by our machine on site and organic coolants disposed of according to council guidelines.
Auto air conditioning is a field we specialise in. Most vehicles in New Zealand operate R134a refrigerant to keep their cabins cool. This replaced the R12 used in cars at a time when most cars on our roads didn’t have air conditioning. The R12 was deemed to be an ozone depleting gas and so was replaced by the R134a. This has led most people to believe that it is a safe gas for the environment however it has a significant impact as a greenhouse gas. It has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) index of 1300. What this means is that its impact as a greenhouse gas is 1300 times that of CO2 which has a GWP of 1. So in practice if a service centre releases 1 kg of R134a into the atmosphere it is equivalent to 1.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Instant Auto is one of only a few workshops in Blenheim that have the equipment to safely capture this gas. We then filter and recycle it back into customers cars. Unfortunately a number of garages just discharge the gas. There are no guidelines or regulations around it so it is a voluntary compliance but something we value; and besides it’s ‘damned’ expensive at around $62 per kg so why waste it. Most cars have somewhere between 500 - 700 grams of refrigerant while vans and SUV’s with rear air conditioning also can have up to 1500 grams.