NYC Resources 311 Office of the Mayor
Newsletter Signup Printer Friendly Email a Friend Translate This Page
Text Size: A A A
NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation


automotive supplies

Workplace Automotive Products

brake cleaners
car wash detergents

helpful links about reducing toxics


  • Target leaking vehicles for repair, which will reduce fluid loss and use of absorbent for spills. Implement a leak/drip identification and maintenance plan for vehicles stored on-site.
  • Place pans to collect drips, where appropriate.
  • Use a specially designed spill vacuum to recover spilled fluids.
  • Collect and reuse dry absorbent by filtering the used absorbent. Purchase or construct a sifter. The sifter is simply a mesh screen, placed over a 55-gallon drum, which filters usable absorbent from saturated absorbent.
  • Use reusable absorbent pads under leaks and to clean up spills. These pads are highly absorbent and can be wrung out and reused several times before disposal.
  • Use hydrophobic mops for oil cleanup. The high-viscosity mop effectively absorbs and contains small spills. If other materials such as water or engine coolant are part of the spill, the mop will absorb only the oil, which can then be squeezed out and added to used oil for recycling.

back to top | back to agency tips | back to business tips

Brake cleaners

  • Consider using less expensive, non-aerosol brake cleaners.
  • Learn more about the chemical constituents of brake cleaners, their potential health effects, and alternative products.

back to top | back to agency tips | back to business tips

Car wash detergents

  • Follow dilution instructions to avoid using too much detergent.
  • Seek a vendor who can deliver detergent concentrate to a bulk storage tank equipped to dispense pre-mixed, ready-to-use detergent.
  • Car wash detergents often contain solvents and harsh acids. Learn about the chemical constituents of car wash detergents, their potential health effects, and alternative products.
  • Do not wash vehicles near rivers, streams, or storm drains; wash vehicles only in areas with drainage to a wastewater treatment facility.

back to top | back to agency tips | back to business tips


  • Consider replacing single-use, disposable air and oil filters with washable, reusable filters that will last the life of the vehicle. Visit the oil filter measurement tool to see how you could benefit from investing in reusable oil filters.
  • Install a by-pass oil filter to remove smaller particles and extend oil and engine life.
  • Establish a contract with a vendor who will collect and recycle drained oil filters.

back to top | back to agency tips | back to business tips

Go to:

Tips for your agency:
cafeteria |garage and repair shop | maintenance | office | restroom | shipping and receiving | yard

Tips for businesses:
green building |healthcare |manufacturing | office |restaurant | retail | workplace relocation

Site Map

Copyright The City of New York Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use