Charity Car Washes

The Problem:
Holding a car wash is a popular way to raise money for various organizations. Unfortunately, while they may help the organization, such car washes hurt the environment. That's because these washes often occur in public parking lots that drain into the public storm water system, which leads directly into our area’s rivers and streams. Soap suds, oil, grease and other contaminants pollute local waterways and are harmful to fish, wildlife and plants. Even biodegradable soap causes trouble because when it enters a waterway and begins to degrade, it uses up oxygen needed by fish, plants and other marine life.

Not only is this type of fundraiser environmentally unfriendly, it is also illegal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. Phase 2 of that act went into effect Dec. 8, 1999, and made it illegal for anyone to put anything in local storm drains except rain water.

The Solution: 
Does this mean that local nonprofits can no longer use car washing as a means to raise much-needed money? No. Prime Shine has developed a very successful fundraising program that any qualifying nonprofit organization can use. Prime Shine's program has proven to be more successful and safer than traditional parking lot washes. And, most importantly, the Prime Shine program is eco-friendly and will not harm our local rivers.

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