Recycling programs, new LEED-certified facilities, additional trees, City officials have pushed hard for a “greener” city, and it has some entrepreneurs in Edinburg asking “why not?” when it comes to following suit.
The owners of Bubbles Eco-Mobile Car Wash, Todd Silva and Raul Guerrero, say their business is new to Edinburg, but began last month taking into account the city’s own efforts to enact a “greener and more environmentally friendly” approach to business in town.
“Since the city was pushing the need to go green, we thought about the need to include our business in that effort,” said Silva, who along with Guerrero holds a degree in management from the University of Texas-Pan American. “We are committed to saving water using an innovative product that is surface friendly, scratch free and safe on the environment as much as it is on vehicles.”
Bubbles is a mobile, and waterless service that uses solely an organic compound, which is an all-in-one cleaning, waxing and paint protecting agent meant to eliminate wastewater runoff. The application of the agent also eliminates the excessive use of water. The International Car Wash Association (ICWA) estimates that the average car wash uses 80 to 120 gallons of water per car. Bubbles employees usually clean a car with just 20 ounces of their cleaning agent, according to Guerrero.
“There are so many mobile car wash guys out there you know, but we’re not too concerned with that because it’s usually two guys in a beat-up pickup truck washing cars,” Guerrero said. “None of them have the professionalism that we bring. We do a very good job. We’re eco-friendly and we save tons of water … we do use water on vehicles that have mud for example, but we use our same product that is diluted with distilled water and we use a very minimal amount.”
Ordinances in McAllen and Edinburg limit a business that deals with runoff water which flows onto the pavement, streets or grassy areas. Silva said businesses like Bubbles are bound by cities to use a reclaim system or pump for runoff water, which they then have recycle or take to a facility for disposal. The problem, he says, is that many similar businesses don’t often follow city rules.
“I’ve never seen any other mobile car wash service use a reclaim system, and that’s illegal and not good for the environment,” he said. “We don’t use water, we don’t have to worry about it, even though we still want to be compliant with everything.
“We asked ourselves ‘What would be the best thing for us and the environment’, and the natural solution was this waterless wash, and that is the focus of our business.”
While the business is mostly Edinburg oriented, employees usually take calls for businesses in the McAllen and Mission areas, as well. The week is spent on location at various businesses, Saturdays and Sundays are spent in residential neighborhoods. Bubbles employees can usually have a car washed and waxed within 30 minutes, and larger vehicles done in an hour.
The cost is between $20 and $30 for outside and inside cleaning depending on the vehicle, and includes a wax according to Silva. Outside work by itself is about $15.
Edinburg clients have included State Farm Agent Ray Villarreal and Mike’s Loading Service as well as numerous offices in town, Silva says. A fleet service is available.
“The advantage is really not for us, it’s for the customer. It’s convenient for them because they save time driving and gas. They don’t have to wait at a carwash,” Silva said. “While you’re at work or shopping, or you’re at home doing chores, you can call us up and we’ll wash your car. It’s pretty convenient for the customers.”
Interested customers can call Todd Silva at 212-5677.
Edinburg officially endorsed the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement on July 15, 2008, urging the federal government to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol goal to reduce global warming and pollution in municipalities. Under Kyoto, cities pledge to do their part to reduce pollution levels to seven percent of 1990 levels by the year 2012.
Edinburg in turn agreed to seven action areas covered by the Agreement and the CoolCities Campaign including conservative land use management and development along with urban forestry, utilizing “green” power sources, transportation planning, “green” buildings, energy efficiency, water and wastewater management, recycling and waste reduction.