Posts Tagged "Abandoned car buyers"

Recycling in the north: what goes up must come down

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Recycling in the north: what goes up must come down

Recycling in the north: what goes up must come down

The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) have long advocated for a national recycling standard, but the logistics of getting waste or parts from Northern Canada back down to where they have value are complicated. There is a real gap between what we’re doing in the populated south and what they’re even capable of doing up there. Tundra Take Back, run by Scout Environmental, is a program that partners auto recyclers with northern communities to efficiently manage end-of-life vehicles and minimize their environmental impact. Scout is a not-for-profit organization that develops and implements sustainability programs. ARC has worked with them on a number of different projects, including Retire Your Ride, Switch Out and Car Heaven. Tundra Take Back began in Nunavut about three years ago in a few different communities. ARC acts as a catalyst for making people understand that auto recycling can be done right, but sometimes you need to improvise. What better place than the far north to figure that out? Three years in During the first year, we figured out what we didn’t know. The second year, we worked in three or four locations and kept fine-tuning the model until last year, when we were in about five locations. We visited one location where we didn’t actually do any hands on work, but it was all about training. They brought in a few local people and walked through our environmental protocols that form the bases for how and where you depollute a vehicle, and then began to brainstorm how they could manage without the equipment or buildings that most of us have easy access to down here. Ultimately, we provide a little bit of money and a lot of knowledge in terms of the codes and how-tos, but we also provide our members expertise and the opportunity for them to travel up north. These members are excited to work within their area of expertise in a completely different environment and experience a new culture. A life of its own The program has begun to identify some longer term funding, so rather than going year-to-year, they’re starting to tap into federal, provincial and territorial monies to provide for better planning. Tundra Take Back has truly taken on a life of its own and ARC is there to promote it and to bring the members in as an organization that is dedicated to ensuring vehicles are depolluted and recycled responsibly across Canada. The north is a part of Canada, and we have some responsibility to make sure that it’s done right up there too.   It’s a very interesting project for us as an organization in that it lets us demonstrate that we’re proactive, part of the solution and allows us to provide expertise and information in a place that not many people get to go visit. Collision Management June 2017 The post Recycling in the north: what goes up must come down appeared first on Automotive Recyclers of Canada. Source: Industry...

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The Fate of Your Vehicle

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Fate of Your Vehicle

The Fate of Your Vehicle

Note: originally published in 2011 in CAA Magazine – we have made some progress in Ontario. How to ensure your old clunker doesn’t become an environmental hazard. It’s probably not something you’ve ever thought about, but where you take your vehicle when it reaches the end of the road can make the difference between an environmental disaster and a model of environmental responsibility. The truth is, not everybody handles end-of-life vehicles (ELV) and vehicles that have been in accidents the way they should. Steve Fletcher, Executive Director of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA), has heard some of the horror stories. With many automotive recyclers, trying to extract the most value from an ELV by cutting environmental corners is unfortunately a growing practise. “Our members, however, follow a very strict code of practice in the way they handle a vehicle. they spend a lot of money to build and maintain facilities that are specially designed to capture and store potentially harmful operating fluids and other toxins such as mercury and lead. We keep all of that stuff contained and prevent it from contaminating the soil and groundwater. The technicians who do the work are trained to follow a methodical process that maximizes the amount of material that can be reclaimed and minimizes the environmental impact,” says Fletcher. The problem, Fletcher explains, is that not everybody follows the same protocol or plays by the same rules. “We know of some scrap operations who buy cars just to crush them and sell them for the value of the metal. They don’t drain anything and they don’t do anything to protect the environment. And when metal prices are high like they are now, those guys really come out of the woodwork.” Fletcher says their members remove an average of 40 litres of potentially hazardous fluids from each vehicle, as well as lead, mercury and ozone-depleting gases. “All the oil, gas and other operating fluids pose a significant risk to the environment if they’re allowed to just leach into the soil. Our members carefully drain all the fluids and store them for reuse or recycling.” Fletcher adds that gas tanks, batteries and tires are all removed and recycled, reused or disposed of appropriately. The vehicle is then sent for dismantling where usable parts are removed for resale. “By the time our members crush a car, it is a clean, dry hulk that poses no threat to the environment. Only then is the unusable portion of the vehicle crushed and sent to be shredded for metal recovery,” says Fletcher. Incredibly, there is currently no legislation that dictates how an ELV has to be handled, although the OARA is working with the provincial government to set environmental standards for the processing of ELVs. The OARA is also working with environmental groups and a number of leading auto manufacturers who have recognized the need to ensure ELVs are properly processed at the end of their operating lives. “When people are done with their vehicles, they really need to be aware of who they’re selling it to. It can make all the difference in the world,” says Fletcher. The post The Fate of Your Vehicle appeared first on Automotive Recyclers of Canada. Source: Industry...

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Don’t Call Us Junkyard Dogs Anymore!

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Call Us Junkyard Dogs Anymore!

The old school linear economy is becoming a thing of the past. At one time, everything was make, use, dispose. A new model of thinking is growing and that’s the circular economy, in which we keep resources actively in use for as long as possible, maximizing it’s value in the process. Spoiler alert: It ends with recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of each service life. Few industrial sectors exemplify this better than automotive recycling. Once maligned for sketchy practices, the industry is transitioning into a model of respectability and a leader in environmental thought. With the recent launch of the non-profit organization, End-of-Life Vehicle Sector Council (ELVSC) back in November of last year, a turning point was reached in an industry attempting to redefine and reposition itself in a rapidly changing sector that’s bracing for the future. The ELVSC will play a critical role as it supports the ELV management standard while providing training services to stakeholders in all aspects of ELV management. “It’s a standards-based solution to recycling end-of-life vehicles that we are seeking,” says Steve Fletcher, managing director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), an umbrella group of seven associations representing over 400 auto recyclers. He’s also the executive director of 180-member Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA). The ELVSC will also support provincial auto recyclers to meet regulated end-of-life recycling standards adopted by Ontario in March, 2016. Those standards form a critical part of ensuring that vehicles are dismantled with the proper management of hazardous wastes, and will require all Ontario ELV recyclers to prevent discharge of pollutants into the environment. The council is but one solution to a host of changes occurring in an industry that’s currently trying to shed an unfair image of a profession populated with lazy, unscrupulous, self-serving scrapyard wheeler-dealers, hell-bent on chasing their bottom line. And with the introduction of quality control programs, new sophisticated technology, improved training and a host of standards, the industry is packing its bags and moving into the twenty first century. Every year in Canada, approximately 1.6 million vehicles reach the end of their useful lives. Some have crashed. Some have trashed. Put another way, some vehicles have been victimized through accidents; others are simply “done.” Once upon a time these cars were considered scrap and thus disposable. But values change over time and now these former junk heaps are perceived as a major players in the circular economy. That’s due in part to the fact that automobiles are the most recycled consumer product in the world today. They offer enough steel to produce 13 million (!) cars. You may not realize that much recycling happens while your car is still in use, through a process called automotive aftermarket recycling. In fact, about 80 per cent of your car can actually be reused or recycled. In Canada the sector creates thousands of jobs and generates over $1 billion in revenues. In the good ol’ U-S-of-A, auto recycling is the 16th largest industry. It employs over 100,000 people and contributes about $25 billion to the local economy, annually. In Europe, nearly eight million vehicles are recycled every year. Oh, and the environmental benefits shouldn’t be left out of the discussion either. The North American recycling industry saves about 85 million barrels of oil from getting used in making new or replacement auto parts. Automotive recycling is also responsible for contributing about 40% of all ferrous metal to the scrap processing industry. These figures can’t be ignored and their economic and environmental benefits have important ramifications that cut across international borders. Right now, however,...

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CAA Magazine: Sum of its parts

Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CAA Magazine: Sum of its parts

CAA Magazine: Sum of its parts

A car’s afterlife is a mystery to most. A tow truck carts it off, or you trade it in at a dealership, then it’s out of sight, out of mind. But that tired old vehicle has plenty of potential to live on in other ways, proving that the parts can actually be worth more than the whole. There’s a thriving industry making a profit from end- of-life vehicles (ELVs). About 1.6 million vehicles make their final exit from Canadian roads every year, and about 95 per cent of cars are eventually recycled, says Steve Fletcher, managing director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) association, which represents about 400 of the 1,600 to 1,700 auto recyclers across the country. Old vehicles are worth a lot more than the $150 to $300 you get selling them to a wrecking yard. Auto recyclers—who do not want to be confused with scrap yards or junk yards— know that crushing an old vehicle is the last thing that should happen to it, if at all. Technically, at least 75 per cent of every car can be recycled or recovered, Fletcher says, and with advanced technologies that number edges closer to 95 per cent. In the Netherlands, for example, they recover more plastic from vehicles than they do in Canada, but these processes are expensive and are pursued because of government mandates. “Canadian regulators need to figure out how to incentivize the recycling industry to get more of these materials out,” says Usman Valiante, a senior policy analyst at Corporate Policy Group. Valiante played a role in developing Ontario’s new rules for recyclers. When your old car arrives at a recycling yard, its VIN is run through an app that generates a list of the parts that may be salvageable. These are compared against lists of what the recycler already has on hand and what customers have been requesting, which generates a dismantle list. The in-demand parts are then pulled off the car, tested and given bar codes for inventory. Other parts may be left on the vehicle for future reference. Once a car is deemed to have no further potential use, it will be scrapped. All this is done to strict standards that the ARC has been helping to develop in jurisdictions across the country. Fluids like oil or coolant and any other potentially toxic materials are kept out of the waste stream. Motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant can all be reprocessed; others are disposed of using environmentally responsible methods. For example, manufacturers, steel producers and recyclers are co-operating to ensure that highly toxic mercury from convenience lighting and ABS sensors in pre-2003 cars does not get released into the environment. The Switch Out program is designed to recover the nine tonnes of mercury estimated to still be on the road in old car switches and direct it to purpose-built recovery facilities. Recyclers sell most of the parts they’ve extracted to parts brokers, rebuilders and repair shops, with a few going to do-it-yourselfers trying to fix up classic cars, says Fletcher. “The recycled part starts at a 50 per cent cost savings compared to a brand new one from the dealership,” says Fletcher. “And the older the car, the more likely the dealership doesn’t even have the part; they’re actually ordering it from us to make a repair.” ARC members derive up to 70 per cent of their profits from the sale of parts. That’s why they are happiest to see cars between five and 10 years old arrive at their door— the parts have particularly good resale value since...

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