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Clean and green in Roseville

By: Eileen Wilson Special to The Press-Tribune
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A downturn in the economy has everyone looking for ways to save. The do-it-yourself approach to keeping the car clean might save a few dollars, but at what cost to the environment? Fairway Car Wash and Express Lube, which opened in Roseville in April, is dedicated to not only providing customers with a great value for their budgets, but also to protecting the environment. “We’re different from other car washes,” said Shale Levine, Fairway’s general manager. “All our chemicals are environmentally certified green.” The business has just received certification from the Sacramento Sustainable Business Program. The program, sponsored by SMUD and Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, promotes businesses that take voluntary actions to prevent pollution and conserve resources. Levine is proud of his coveted “green” certification, and the car wash’s water-reclaim system. “We use reclaimed water in the tunnel. Forty-five percent of the water is reclaimed,” he said. In addition, their variable-frequency drives reduce electricity usage, and discarded oil from the express lube is picked up and recycled by Penzoil. Levine has applied to the state of California to be certified green, and said no other car wash in Placer County is currently certified. “We’re listening to what everyone is saying to us – we’re trying to do it right,” he said. Customers, about 200 a day, seem to appreciate Levine’s efforts. “My wife came by here earlier in the week and I loved the job they did on her car, so I came back to get mine done,” said Mark Contreras of Rocklin. Justin Lambert, also from Rocklin, was pleased with his service, and the value he received. “I just got my oil changed, and got a free car wash and vacuum,” he said. Levine, who was an electrician for 17 years before getting involved in the car wash business, is serious about what he does. “The car wash business is infectious,” he said. “I’ve won car wash manager of the year from the Western Carwash Association.” He shared how Fairway is different than other area washes. “We’re charitable. We fund soccer teams and plan to pair with Whitney High School to do a promotion in September. A local girl scout troop picks up all our cans and bottles to recycle,” he said, pointing to a mountain of bagged cans awaiting pint-sized recyclers. “I want the car wash to be involved in the communities of Lincoln, Roseville and Rocklin,” he said. “We’ll be giving coupons to local schools that, when redeemed, schools will get a percent of car wash sales.” In addition to the area where the cars are washed, a recently constructed shade structure allows staff to stay cool on blistering days, and a mini store with goodies, gadgets and a relaxing seating area for customers to visit while they wait, provides an ideal respite. The car wash is even located next to a protected wetland. Levine pointed out that using a water tunnel uses far less water than hosing down the family car in the driveway, or taking it to a wet-it-yourself outfit. In addition to decreased water usage, Fairway uses Blue Coral Beyond Green products that are easy on paint and easy on the environment. Many soap products used in the family driveway leave hazy residues and send untreated water waste into storm drains that ultimately reach streams, rivers and lakes. Fairway Car Wash offers four levels of washes, which run from $16.99 to $29.99. In addition to a car wash and oil change, Fairway also offers full auto detailing, hand waxes in 30 minutes and more. “We do everything possible to make your car look better,” said Levine, and encourages customers to scour mailers and flyers for coupons to save cash. “We just want to do a great job.”