A Laramie auto repair shop has received an award from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality for their efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their business.

The Wyoming DEQ presented the 2017 Fourth Quarter Environmental Stewardship Award to VDR Foreign Auto of Laramie, according to a news release. VDR Foreign Auto was chosen by the Wyoming Compliance Advisory Panel for the award.

VDR Foreign Auto was chosen for the award for their innovative efforts to dispose of their businesses’ waste in an environmentally friendly way, particularly their process for reusing and recycling motor oil and anti-freeze. According to the Wyoming DEQ, their process for doing this has not been observed anywhere else in Wyoming, a fact which played heavily into the auto repair shop being chosen for the award. By recycling and reusing these waste products, VDR Foreign Auto was able to increase their business efficiency while reducing their environmental impact.

“I really appreciated the creative methods of dealing with the different types of waste whether paper filters, metal housing or used oil/antifreeze," said Matt Grant, CAP member, in a statement. "This was a very proactive method to deal with waste and more productive than just sorting a waste stream.”

Bob Van De Rostyne, VDR Foreign Auto owner, said he is honored and humbled to receive the award.

"For 26 years of running this shop I've tried to do my best at clean disposal and reducing hazardous waste and recycling what we could," Van De Rostyne said. "To get recognition for that is really a big thing for me and I take a lot of pride in it."

Van De Rostyne said he hopes other auto shops follow in VDR Foreign Auto's footsteps and try to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses.

The auto shop custom built a device that disassembles and separates metal and oil which increases the potential for metal recycling in addition to oil recycling. The facility is also dedicated to recycling antifreeze, which is not an easy task, as most vehicles have their own particular formulation of antifreeze. The recycling machine used needs to be cleaned before each operation and special filters are needed for each kind of antifreeze.

In addition to recycling motor oil and antifreeze, VDR Foreign Auto drains and dries paper filters before disposing them and recycles cardboard, paper, metals and plastics.

"I just think it's everybody's responsibility to leave the planet a better place than they found it and keep it good for all the kids out there and their kids," Van De Rostyne said. "That's our commitment to the environment."