Lake Orion brownfield transformed into green auto body shop - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Lake Orion brownfield transformed into green auto body shop

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A mechanic at Milosch's Palace in Lake Orion A mechanic at Milosch's Palace in Lake Orion
LAKE ORION, Mich. (WJBK) -

They say they are saving the planet one repair at a time at Milosch's Palace Collision Center on Lapeer Road. It is not just some catchy slogan.

A few years ago, the body shop and parts distribution warehouse was a contaminated brownfield.

"There was oil reservoirs just sitting on the floor and oil dripping from the ceiling," said owner Brian Milosch.

He put the money and the time into cleaning it up. Now the 61,000 square foot facility is filled with green features, including solar panels on the roof that generate about 10 percent of the building's electricity from the sun.

"Even the oil from our oil changes, we have waste oil burners that actually burns the oil that heats actually half of the building," Milosch said.

The shop also recycles its solvents. They used to throw away 50 gallons of turpentine every month, and they got a $10,000 credit from DTE to install energy efficient T5 lighting.

Milosch said his biggest money savings comes from recycling. He actually sells 90 percent of the recycled materials instead of paying to have them hauled away.

"So actually it pays to be green in this case, and none of that's going to the landfill anymore," he told us.

Milosch used the money he made from recycling to put in a different kind of body shop -- a gym for employees.

Even the paint booths, which use half the gas and electricity of the old ones, were installed with the help of workers and the planet in mind.

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