Aroostook County— The Automotive Collision Repair program at Northern Maine Community College has been awarded equipment that will make the program more environmentally friendly.


Instructor Bob Collins applied to the Collision Repair Education Foundation for a sustainability grant and was awarded $6,300 for the purchase of a solvent recycling system.  The system separates hazardous chemicals from solvents used in automotive spray guns which have to be cleaned after each use.

“We were looking for ways to make our program “greener”, explained Collins.  “The cleaning system cooks waste products to the point where it is completely biodegradable and can be disposed in the regular trash.  Besides being more environmentally friendly, it will save us hundreds of dollars in disposal costs each year.”

Over the years, the Automotive Collision Repair program has become more eco-friendly by integrating the use of water-based paints.  Also the program has done some recycling of solvents but about 15 gallons of the material had to be disposed of each year.  Another benefit from the new equipment is that the solvents, once cleaned, can be re-used.  The machines will be installed during the college summer break.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation is supported by I-CAR, a not-for-profit organization that provides technical training curriculum for the collision repair industry.  The Foundation works to support and improve secondary and post-secondary education by offering funding for schools and students for the benefit of the industry.

NMCC’s offers the only automotive collision repair program in Maine.