Gauge repairer helps save instruments from landfill

Gauge repairer helps save instruments from landfill

October 30th, 2010 by Brittany Cofer in Business Around the Region

Staff Photo by Laura-Chase McGehee/Chattanooga Times Free Press/ Oct 26, 2010 - Bjorn Sorenson, owner and technician at Auto Instrument Repair, adjusts a frequency generator as he calibrates a tachometer for a 1985 Kawasaki ZL900 motorcycle.

Staff Photo by Laura-Chase McGehee/Chattanooga Times Free Press/...

What: Repairs and restoration to speedometers and other vehicle instruments for vehicles from the early 1900s to today.

Company: Auto Instrument Repair

Location: 504 W. Manning St. Suite 112

How it's green: Owner Björn Sorenson said typically when speedometers or other vehicle instruments and gauges stop working, they're just replaced. But by repairing and restoring the instruments, he can save the part from ending up in a landfill and can drastically reduce the cost to customers. Parts that cannot be repaired are taken to a nearby recycling outfit after all of the plastic and harmful chemicals and metals are removed.

Why do it this way? For years, Sorenson worked in an auto instrument repair shop in Minnesota, and more than a year ago decided to move to Chattanooga and start his business because he saw the majority of repair work coming from the Southeast. In addition to a love of repairing and restoring auto gadgets, Sorenson said it's important to him to save customers time and money, as well as save the environment by decreasing the amount of hazardous chemicals and waste in landfills from vehicle parts.

Plans for expanding: Sorenson recently expanded his operation and hopes to hire additional technicians in the future.

Advice for others considering green initiatives: "Take care of your customer," he said. "If you don't, someone else will."

Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? "I didn't set out to be a recycling center," Sorenson said. "But I realized there was a definite need for it, so it's an added bonus. Being environmentally conscious is important to me, though."