Copperas Cove automotive shop receives kudos for sustainability practices
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful selected Sims Automotive as the Business Yard of the Month for the month of July, partly due to how well-maintained their yard is, but also partly due to how their practices help keep the environment clean.
While the Yard of the Month process during the spring and summer months in Copperas Cove isn’t new, Sims Automotive received recognition also based on how they clean up liquids like antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid and oil so that they can be recycled.
Nominations for Business Yard of the Month are open to all businesses in Copperas Cove. A KCCB subcommittee reviews and votes on the nominations, according to KCCB Executive Director Roxanne Flores-Achmad.
Bradley Sims took over ownership of the building where Sims Automotive is located at from the prior owner, whom he worked under for almost 20 years as Ben’s Automotive.
To have his own business recognized by Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful was a great feeling, Sims said.
Four CCHS alumni work at Sims Automotive, which Sims shared with KCCB when they presented the award.
“Part of our slogan, kind of on our website, is ‘We’re hometown people with up-to-date technology that we need to fix automobiles,’ so I was proud of it,” Sims said.
Sims Automotive uses a Flo-Dynamics AirVac handheld fluid vacuum device, purchased through Mac Pro Tools, which they use to clean up spilled liquids like antifreeze, oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid and more, allowing the liquids to be disposed of properly and even recycled.
It is inevitable that there will be fluid on the concrete when employees are doing services on vehicles, Sims said.
“You just can’t catch it all in a bucket, especially with the amount of splash shields and stuff that are on cars nowadays, so we have that to suck it up,” Sims said.
The fluids are then stored in storage totes until the oil recycling facility comes to pick the fluids up.
“Overall, I just try and keep the shop clean,” Sims said. “I’m a clean person myself. I own the business, and I don’t want it in customers cars period.”
The Mac Pro Tools seller told Sims that not many automotive shops in the area have purchased a vacuum like this one- only two or three, Sims said.
“Which is really wild to me because of how well it works,” Sims said. “So as far as I know, no, there’s not a lot of shops that have it, but I would recommend it. They work great for cleaning up messes.”
After the oil and antifreeze are recycled, these fluids are able to be resold and reused for an extended lifecycle.
“Antifreeze, from what we’ve been told from the people that pick it up, it actually can be recycled over and over and over and over again, which is great because there’s chemicals involved in it,” Sims said. “Oil is a natural resource that will one day run out, who knows when, so they have ways now to recycle.”
Sims added that several decades ago, the common practice amongst automotive shops was to just dump the oil on the ground outside.
“That’s not the way to do things,” he said.
Used motor oil is a major source of oil contamination of waterways and can result in pollution of drinking water sources, if it is not recycled or disposed of properly, according to the EPA. The EPA’s website also states that a gallon of used motor oil provides the same 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil as 42 gallons of crude oil.
“Places like Sims Automotive that take the challenge to promote sustainability while dealing with hazardous waste should be celebrated,” Flores-Achmad said. “I hope this encourages more businesses in our community to help Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful.”