JP auto shop goes green

Following the success of transitioning one local business away from toxic materials, JP New Economy Transition (JP NET) is helping Salcedo Auto Center at 3377 Washington St. do the same.

Owner and West Roxbury resident Rafael Salcedo, speaking in Spanish with translation by JP NET member Carlos Espinoza-Toro, told the Gazette during a visit to the shop last week that the decision was not complicated,

“It was a question of information and learning about a new system,” Salcedo said. “There is less contamination in the shop, and it supports the environment.”

Last year, JP NET helped J&P Dry Cleaners at 300B Centre St. make a similar move away from toxic chemicals.

Along with switching certain chemical agents used in the shop for safer, water-soluble ones, Salcedo also upgraded storage and labeling in the shop.

He said that the cost was not high; all his changes only cost him $2,500 up front. And in the long run, the slightly increased cost of the greener chemicals is worth it to him.

“It’s worth it for my health and the health of my employees,” he said, explaining that he and his team spend all day breathing those chemicals during the winter months, when the big garage doors cannot be kept open.

Salcedo explained that his family and staying healthy later in life were big motivators for the change, but that having the guidance and being provided with alternatives by JPNET made the process feasible for him.

“But the customers will decide for themselves” whether Salcedo Auto Center’s switch will be worth it, he said.

Espinoza-Toro told the Gazette during Salcedo’s interview that JPNET has approached many garages, but Salcedo was one of the first few to respond positively.

JPNET will host a party celebrating the switch at Salcedo Auto Center on June 20.

Rafael Salcedo outside his auto shop last week. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

Rafael Salcedo outside his auto shop last week. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

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