Environmental approach pays off for Robinson's

Robinson’s Truck and Coach Maintenance wins prize for its environmentally-friendly workshop

By Ruza Zivkusic | October 31, 2011

Robinson’s Truck and Coach Maintenance in Wangaratta is the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria’s Tidy Towns Awards winner.

Owner Mal Robinson has won the category of Efficient Energy – Sustainable Workshop, while his son Travis took home an award in the category of Youth Leadership – Individual.

Robinson was recognised for constructing a self-sustaining, environmentally friendly workshop to reduce the waste that his business produces while incorporating water saving and energy saving techniques.

The company services Scania trucks and offers 24-7 roadside assistance to truck breakdowns. It also services coaches and buses across Victoria. It has 11 technicians, including three apprentices.

Robinson says he is environmentally conscious because the initiative adds asset value to his company.

"It also attracts customers to the fact that you’re trying to keep yourself right up with the boys that have got more money than us. We’re just battlers," Robinson says.

The company crushes, drains and recycles all of its fuel and oil filters, which is then stored and either environmentally disposed of or is used in a gun fired boiler to heat the workshop floor – something employees appreciate during winter.

The company’s hot water is solar powered and Robinson has recently purchased and installed a 5kW system of solar panels to service the general energy requirements of the workshop.

Since purchasing the space in Wangaratta, Robinson has gradually been installing the services at his shop.

"I paid a lot of this stuff as I went over 10 years because I didn’t want a huge mortgage," he says.

"What I owe on this place is probably not more than on a normal house because it’s been a project in over a period of time. If I was to go and do this in one hit I’d be broke backwards because you just couldn’t afford to lay so much money out and pay interest on it."

Robinson trains all of his apprentices and only employs those who plan to stay within the industry. He has also planted 40 different fruit trees at the site, saying it’s important to offer healthy food options to his clients and staff.

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