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September 14th, 2017
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The Charity Carwash Decision

As a carwash operator (CWO), you should be aware that many municipalities wish to move Charity Carwashes from parking lots and driveways to professional carwashes. The reasoning is simple. When cars are washed in a parking lot or driveway, the potential for runoff entering the storm sewer carrying harmful chemicals into rivers and lakes is an environmental hazard.

The Canadian Carwash Association has been approached by a large municipality to help it develop options for charity carwashes. These options would include the use of professional carwash sites where runoff is properly managed and directed away from the storm sewer system into the sanitary sewer system. As an independent not-for-profit body, the CCA has absolutely no regulatory powers; rather we act in an advisory capacity to our members and the government.

The CCA’s goal is to provide options to assist CWO’s if they choose to support charity groups in their community. That is in fact the first decision a CWO has to make; do you want to be involved in assisting one or more charitable groups in your community? If you do, then there are negotiations which need to take place.

Part of the negotiations will be the scope, parameters and timing for the event. The CWO must decide how much support to provide and the type of event they can accommodate. Here is a basic decision tree providing some of the options available for operators to offer charities.

Charity Carwash Decision

The first question is will the event be onsite at the CWO’s location, or off site, or some combination of the two? If on site, then do you want just to provide a washing offer, or only allow the group to be involved with other services, such as providing drink and/or food, or even ancillary options to the CWO site such as drying, vacuuming, cleaning windows and/or waxing?

Each option has pros and cons that must be considered. The following two diagrams illustrate some of these for the onsite part of the decision tree:


Charity Carwash Onsite Options

Offsite options exist both with pros and cons:

Charity Carwash Onsite Options

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