West Roxbury Patch asked Waves' owner Adam Korngold about the award and why he keeps the business so green. The interview is after what the judges of the contest said about Waves Car Wash:
Waves Car Wash, located in West Roxbury, Mass., is not only an environmentally friendly business but also works to educate the public on ways to conserve natural resources. It is an example of a local business that has chosen to embrace green technology and practices responsible environmental stewardship. Owner Adam Korngold demonstrated a strong environmental ethic and is committed to promoting the use of green technology. Last August, Waves Car Wash installed a $220,000 PV system to generate 20% of its electrical needs and celebrated going green by hosting an environmental fair to demonstrate the PV technology. The company participated in the ASES national solar tour last fall, with a booth educating customers of the benefits and the affordability of PV systems. Waves Car Wash also uses energy efficient motors tied to Variable Frequency Drives, which reduces the electrical usage. In regard to water conservation, the company installed a water reclamation system that reduces its water consumption to 20 gallons per car, compared with 100 gallons of water used during a home driveway wash. It has three 1500-gallon water reclaim tanks that store wastewater that is pumped through two filters and injected with ozone to kill bacteria. The cleaned reclaim water is pumped onto cars through certain stages, including the high pressure arch and under-wash. This car wash uses about 20 gallons of water per car, which is about the equivalent of a 30-minute shower.
Q: What does receiving a 2011 EPA Merit Award mean to you as a business owner?
Korngold: I was very excited on receiving the award because the award recognizes that a local business can make a difference, specifically my business uses 80 percent less water than washing your car in your driveway, generates 20 percent of its power through solar panels, and uses high effeciency LED lighting.
Q: Did you apply for the award?
Korngold: I was nominated by Tim White (of Century 21 of Carole White Associates) for the award, who has seen my business and recognizes that Waves is environmentally friendly.
Q: What inspires you to be environmentally-friendly?
Korngold: It is important for businesses to be environmentally friendly, I firmly believe that we have limited natural resources and we must conserve what we currently have available. Also, my customer base supports Waves because they know the water is recycled and treated and that we are taking steps to significantly reduce our electrical usage. Finally, I have a strong economic incentive and have been able to cut my electricity costs and water costs since installing solar panels and LED lighting.
Q: Do your customers ask you about how environmentally-friendly Waves Car Wash is? If so, what kind of things do they say?
Korngold: I let my customers know about my water recycling system, my solar panel covered roof, and my LED lights. Customers often ask if we use a lot of water. I explain that we only use 20 gallons of water and use biodegradable soaps.
Q: So what's next on the horizon for making Waves Car Wash even more environmentally-friendly?
Korngold: I am always looking at ways to conserve, if anyone has any suggestions
on how I can be more green, please let me know.