Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Thursday, 28 April 2011

How 'Green' is the Auto Recycling World?

Sustainable development in the Auto Recycling Industry

Auto recycling can be a very green operation, but it can also be very dirty and harmful to the environment, the challenge has to be how to effectively improve the image of the industry, divert more product away from landfill and into recycling, and ensure that auto recycling activities do not harm this fragile planet we live on.

An immense challenge, especially when we hear about the predicted increase in new vehicle sales for China and S East Asia over the coming 20 years.

As with all things, this must start at the vehicle design stage – vehicle manufacturers must be forced to design vehicles that can easily be recycled once they reach the end of their lives. This includes materials used in production, restrictions in the use of hazardous substances such as mercury, and ease of dismantling.
During the life of the vehicle, manufacturers have a need to show that servicing schedules are designed to minimise waste, and service agents must be able to recycle as much of the waste products as possible.
When the vehicle reaches the end of its’ life it must go to an approved treatment facility for de-pollution, dismantling and recycling. A site where all waste products can be removed cleanly, efficiently and sent for recycling. A site where the ground will not be contaminated, workers are kept safe and the public are not in any danger.

The European Union is getting there – they already have rules and regulations in place regarding all of the above, including development of markets for the recycled products that come out of ELV’s – their target of 95% of each vehicle being recycled from 2015 is tough, but achievable.
Problem is, the rules only apply to cars and light commercial vehicles, when will similar standards be applied to motorbikes and heavy commercials?
What about the rest of the world and what happens in 10-12 years time when the 12 million new cars sold in China this year reach the end of their lives?
It is time for the worldwide auto recycling industry to set minimum standards for vehicle de-pollution, dismantling and recycling for all motor vehicles. Standards that reflect the need to protect our world from pollution, increase the amount of product that is recycled, and minimise waste.

Talk to your local Politicians, Councillors, Members of Parliament, Senators etc, ask them what they are doing to protect the environment, when can we see updated rules and regulations, and more importantly the funding to enforce these rules and regulations and drive illegal operators out of business.

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