By Paul Shoemaker

Last month, Mayor Menino announced the winners of the 6th Annual Mayor’s Green Awards, which recognize local business, residents, and sustainable food leaders for doing their part to make Boston a greener, more sustainable, and livable city.  Award winners are chosen for extraordinary performance related to sustainable environmental practices such as energy conservation, water conservation, waste management, sustainable food production and more.

We are so pleased to congratulate all of the winners, but especially the 912 Auto Center in Dorchester and owner Larry Dossantos for all the work they have done to make their shop cleaner and safer.

A graduate of our Safe Shops Program, 912 Auto Center has made a number of changes to prevent pollution and “green” the shop.   Most significantly from a public health standpoint, 912 Auto switched from traditional solvent-based paints to water-based car paint.  The water-based formula reduces worker exposure to solvents that can cause respiratory and neurological damage, as well as increase risks of cancer. This switch also means that neighbors are protected from exposure to these solvents. 

Larry also installed an indoor ventilation system that reduces indoor air pollution and makes their heating/cooling system more efficient. They have also trained their workers on safety and personal protective equipment to reduce pollution and protect themselves from toxic exposures

To reduce resource consumption, 912 Auto has moved to a paperless transaction system when dealing with insurance companies and customers (they replaced printing and faxing paper with scanning and e-mailing) and has done an energy efficient lighting upgrade of the shop. The shop also recycles materials including paper, scrap metal, and automotive chemicals.

912 Auto is a member of the Sustainable Business Leadership Program and is in the process of installing a green roof on the shop.

912 Auto Center is at 109 Norfolk Street in Dorchester, MA. You can reach them at 617-379-3033.

Paul is the associate director of BPHC’s Office of Environmental Health. Learn more about their other programs here.