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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The End-Of-Life Cycle: Achieving a sustainable automotive industry, starting with end of life

By Susan Sawyer-Beaulieu and Edwin K. L. Tam

Susan Sawyer-Beaulieu, PhD, a post doctorate fellow at the University of Windsor, recently presented results from her research at the 2010 International Round Table on Auto Recycling. Sawyer-Beaulieu has taken a scientific approach to learning how dismantling and shredding facilities manage end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). She is using life-cycle assessment methods to identify the efficiencies and inefficiencies of the ELV dismantling and shredding process. This will allow the auto recycling industry to benchmark the environmental contributions dismantlers make in the overall vehicle end-of-life recycling process. Here are some of her findings:

An estimated 14 million vehicles are retired from the road annually in the US and Canada, representing 20 million metric tonnes of mixed materials—metals, plastics, rubber, textiles, paper, wood, glass, ceramics, etc. (for an average “equivalent passenger vehicle” weight of 1455 kg). In Canada and the US, an estimated 14.4 million metric tonnes of metals are recovered from ELVs and recycled annually. These estimates, however, are largely based on recycled metals statistics derived from the scrap metals industry and average vehicle statistics published in literature. In addition, they do not account for parts and materials recovered by dismantlers and directed for reuse, remanufacturing and recycling independently of what is directed for shredding and metals recovery.

With the collaboration of several dismantlers and one shredding facility, we performed case studies, collected data and analyzed it to establish the mass fl ow of parts and materials through these facilities. The dismantling data were from both full-service and self-service operations. The parts and material mass fl ows were established as a percentage of the mass of high-salvage and low-salvage ELVs (HSELVs and LSELVs) processed by the participating dismantlers. What was the outcome?As much as 11.6 per cent of the ELVs’ weight entering the dismantling process are recovered and directed for either reuse, remanufacturing or recycling, including the recovered fl uids. The remaining 88.4 per cent of the weight is the leftover ELV hulks and “scrapped-out” parts that are directed for shredding and metals recovery. As much as 5.7 per cent of the ELVs (both LSELVs and HSELVs) were parts recovered and directed for reuse—4.9 per cent of the weight was from HSELVs and 0.8 per cent weight was from LSELVs.

Parts recovered for reuse included 151 part types from HSELVs and 598 part types from LSELVs. The reusable parts from LSELVs are based on parts sales through a self-service “UPIC” facility. Reusable HSELV parts recovery represented 36.9 per cent of the weight of the HSELVs processed. Reusable LSELV parts recovery was 0.93 per cent of the weight of the LSELVs processed.

Core parts recovered from HSELVs and sold for remanufacturing were only 0.1 per cent of the weight of the ELVs processed and consisted of six part types: starters, steering pumps, steering gears, calipers, alternators and A/C compressors. These are parts commonly collected and sold for remanufacturing, but are not all-inclusive. Recycled parts—tires, batteries, catalytic converters and mercury switches—amounted to almost four per cent of the weight of the ELVs processed. Tires represented a little more than half of the recycled parts.

Recovered fluids amounted to approximately 1.9 per cent weight processed ELVs’ weight—1.4 per cent directed for reuse (oils/lubricants) and 0.5 per cent that are recycled (antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, gasoline).

The estimated parts and materials recovery of almost 12 per cent by weight is based on data principally from one dismantler, supplemented with data from the other participating dismantlers to fi ll in data gaps. It is also based on a ratio of one HSELV processed for every seven to eight LSELVs or for every tonne of HSELVs processed approximately 6.5 tonnes of LSELVs are processed.

This ratio of HSELVs to LSELVs will vary from dismantler to dismantler, and consequently influence dismantling recoveries dismantler to dismantler. For dismantlers that process only HSELVs, parts and/or materials recoveries for reuse, remanufacture and “pre-shredder” recycling may be greater per tonne ELVs processed compared to this case. In contrast, for facilities that principally process LSELVs, parts and materials recoveries for reuse, remanufacture and “pre-shredder” recycling will likely be less than what was found in this case study; more materials will be directed for shredding and metals recovery.

Dismantling recoveries will also be influenced by the types and ages of vehicles processed, and local and/or regional parts demands and markets. For example, the re-manufacturable parts recovery established in this case study scenario, i.e. 0.1 per cent by weight of ELVs processed, is a relatively low value. The part types and part quantities that may be sold for remanufacturing will be driven by regional market demands, the availability and locality of parts re-manufacturers and the specifi c parts types the re-manufacturers’ process.

The participating dismantler indicated that the recovery of re-manufacturable core parts was a relatively low-volume business for them, principally because of the lack of locally available parts re-manufacturers to make core part recovery justifiable. Even though this case study scenario is based on data principally from one dismantler, it is a representative benchmark of dismantled parts and materials recoveries. We do not know, however, if these recoveries are high, low, or average compared to the amount of dismantled parts recovered on average from the entire North American “ELV fleet.”

According to the 3R principles—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—reuse is preferable to recycling. Why is reuse preferable? Under what circumstances and by how much? These questions have been a challenge for auto recyclers to answer. Life-cycle assessment methods can help provide answers. Even though recovery and recycling operations recover materials, they are not free of environmental impacts or burdens. They consume resources and produce emissions. Instead of a more traditional comparisons of these burdens against regulatory compliance limits or guidelines, or relative to economic performance (e.g., cost benefit analysis), a life-cycle analysis can provide a more complete accounting of the materials and resource inputs and outputs for the dismantling and shredding process.

This articled appeared in the January 2011 issue of Canadian Auto Recyclers magazine.

Monday, July 25, 2011

CCIF and Automotive Recyclers of Canada Breakfast Summit on Recycled Parts

Meeting Report

Purpose
To define and establish consensus on the issues that matter to all parties concerning the use of recycled parts in collision repair and to establish a plan for addressing them.

Presentations
Presenters and panellists: Victor Pasnyk of Allstate Insurance, Larry Jefferies of CARSTAR Automotive, Philippe Fugère of Lecavalier Auto Parts and Dominic Vetere of Dom’s Auto Parts.

Key points from panel discussion and presentations:

An Insurer’s Perspective - Victor Pasnyk
Current View:
1.2M vehicles are scrapped in Canada annually, potentially providing a healthy supply of salvage.
Very competitive market between aftermarket and recycled parts. OE parts are sometimes competitive with the alternatives, but data doesn’t show the reason for OE parts choice.
Recyclers play a role in repair cycle time, so availability and speed of delivery are important.
Currently these factors vary across the country, for example with challenges in Eastern Canada and Alberta in terms of availability, while supply and quality seems good in Ontario and Quebec.
Important to educate vehicle owners on the reasons for using recycled parts. Choice of language and consistent messaging also important. Recyclers need to take ownership of this initiative.
Estimating systems and specialized software are helpful tools, but many repairers still feel the need to call to the recycler to verify quality and availability.
Accuracy very important, particularly the year. For example if the repair vehicle is 2003, the recycled part cannot be older.

Barriers to Greater Use of Recycled Parts:
Convincing the vehicle owner – all stakeholders must play a role in this.
Accuracy of parts descriptions – standards exist, but there is still room for greater clarity and detail, e.g. standards regarding “included parts” with front clips or door assemblies.
The added cost of unexpected “clean up” times

Opportunities:
Recycled parts counter staff need to be engaged, asking the right questions and assisting the appraiser to identify other alternative parts opportunities.
Information providers keep improving access to recycled parts inventory, e.g. national live inventory, 360° imaging.
Total loss numbers continue to rise, but this undesirable trend should motivate consideration of more economical, quality alternative parts utilization in order to render more vehicles repairable.

A Collision Repairer’s Perspective - Larry Jefferies
Current View:
Recycled parts usage has increased slightly in recent years to 11-13% of total parts value.
Repairer consolidation creating opportunities for more structured relationships with parts suppliers.
Recyclers able to demonstrate “best in class” qualities more likely to succeed with consolidators.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are being used by insurers to measure and monitor the performance of their repairers in terms of severity (total cost), repair/replace times, cycle time (e.g. time from arrival of damaged vehicle in shop to delivery).
Vehicle complexity increasing and making parts selling more difficult. Need for recycler training.
Too much reliance on telephone to discuss quality, parts included, price etc. Highly inefficient.

Barriers to Greater Use of Recycled Parts:
Lack of certainty on quality, price and consistency. Why buy a recycled part if alternatives provide greater certainty for the same price?
Why buy a recycled part if the dollar or percentage margin is less than that for an alternative part?
Repairers want to repair more vehicles, but opportunities are decreasing as total losses rise.

Opportunities:
Address the pricing model. Repairers need same gross profit margins on recycled parts as aftermarket and OE parts.
Important to have efficient communications tools available and to adapt to market trends in parts procurement for OE and Aftermarket parts. Work in harmony with the technology providers. Repairers and insurers should address ease-of-doing business issue between all parties.
Live on-line recycled parts availability with 360° views would encourage greater use.
Demonstrate to repairers that recycler staff are educated/qualified in understanding their needs.
The parts that can reduce total losses (air bags) need to be addressed with insurers and a solution found. Find a solution to their key issue of liability.
Recycler customer service to become more professional in customer handling, clarity of communication and consistency in using established grading and standardized descriptions.
Switch from “wrecking yard” terminology and image to “recycler” and “green” would be a positive step in changing attitudes.

A Recycler’s Perspective - Philippe Fugère and Dominic Vetere
Current View
· Quality Parts: Standards and standardized descriptions exist. Must use them.
· Pricing based on supply and demand plus history.
· Availability – used to be local, but now global. Large quantity of salvage being shipped out of province and country, resulting in quality parts shortages.
· Cycle times: No back orders – If you see it, we have it.
· Airbags – systems exists – BC & QC recent developments. Working towards incorporating recycled OEM air bags into the repair process will lower vehicle total losses considerably.

Barriers to Greater Use of Recycled Parts:
Recyclers’ image - i.e. junk yard, barking dog etc.

Opportunities
Become more professional in customer service / ask the right questions / become one-stop shop.
Appropriate packaging to reduce damage.
Stakeholders to develop better understanding of each other.

Group Discussion
In the open forum that followed the presentations and panel discussion, there was consensus on the issues raised as barriers and opportunities:
· Profitability – repairer need for adequate margin, plus efficient procurement process.
· Recycler Training and Engagement:
- Customer responsiveness / understanding repairer needs and insurer demands.
- Technical issues, vehicle technology, repair technology – Engage I-CAR.
- Consistent application of existing grading standards. Understand meaning of “insurance grade”
· Education of vehicle owner on “Green Parts” OE recycled parts.
· Potential recycled airbag accreditation – reduce total losses and repair costs.
· Learn from experience and different salvage/recycled parts use models across the provinces and around the world.
· Use IT to make parts availability, visibility and quality consistent enough to eliminate need for telephone calls. 360° views, live inventory.
· Consider ways to increase the flow of available salvage vehicles to the Canadian and local markets.

Conclusion
One outcome of this meeting was clarity on the key issues and agreement between the principal stakeholders, i.e. insurer, collision repairer, recycler, on the maintaining the momentum to address them in a collaborative way. Therefore, it was agreed that a Recycled Parts task force would be established to develop an action plan designed to overcome the barriers and to exploit the opportunities identified and agreed at this meeting.

The following people volunteered to join the task force which will be co-ordinated by Mike Bryan of CCIF and Steve Fletcher of ARC. Once the task force has defined its initial goals and action plan, it will communicate these and its progress to all stakeholder groups through CCIF, ARC and the trade press.

Recycled Parts Task Force:
Insurers:
Victor Pasnyk, Allstate Insurance
Joe Carvallo, Economical Insurance
John Sankey, Intact Insurance

Collision Repairers:
Larry Jefferies, CARSTAR Automotive
Terrance Bradimore, C.K. Collision Centres
Mike Kaplaniak, Fix Auto

Recyclers
Philippe Fugère, Lecavalier Auto Parts
Dominic Vetere, Dom’s Auto Parts
Benjy Katz, LKQ Dominion Auto Recycling
Michael Carcone, Carcone’s Auto Recycling
Mike Maio, Boston Auto Wreckers

Service Providers
Kirk Monger, Hollander, a Solera Company
Diane Chaine, Progi-Pac
Tim Malone, Mitchell
Michel Caron, Audatex
Roger Schroder, Car-Part.com

Sponsor Thanks
We would like to thank the sponsors of this meeting for their support. It is much appreciated:

Abrams Towing
Car-Part .com
Hollander, a Solera Company
Impact Auto Auctions
LKQ Corporation
Marsh Canada
Wholesale Auto Parts Warehouses

July 5, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Automotive Recyclers of Canada To Roll Out Final Phase of Nationwide Certification Process

At a recent meeting in Banff, the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) backed up their commitment to having all of its members certified to the National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers with the funding to complete all of the remaining audits across the country. “For years, a national certification program has been a dream of the association. We have always pushed our provincial associations and their members to follow best environmental practices in every aspect of their operations, but up until now there has never been a way to accurately and objectively measure both the facilities and the processes everyone used.” said Steve Fletcher, Executive Director of ARC.

The National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers was developed by ARC for Environment Canada to support the national “Retire Your Ride” program. It includes stringent compliance requirements for a recycling operation to properly and legally process a vehicle. ARC and their member associations retained an independent auditor to physically visit all of the recyclers who were participating in the program to evaluate their business against the standardized protocol. Any potential shortcomings were rectified and confirmed by the auditor before a recycler was deemed certified. Only certified recyclers were permitted to participate in the national scrappage program.

“As successful as the Retire Your Ride certification process was, we recognized that there were still some gaps in the national coverage.” stated Fletcher. “Now we’re putting our money where our mouth is to get the rest of the recyclers certified so we can finally state with absolute confidence that all of our members do things the right way”. Going forward, any recycler who wants to join a provincial association will first need to complete the certification audit as a condition of membership.

Every vehicle that a Certified Recycler handles goes through a methodical process to maximize reclamation and minimize environmental impact. Good reusable parts, batteries, mercury switches, oils, fluids, coolants, gasoline, and refrigerants are all removed and properly managed before the remaining hulk is sent for metal recycling.

The next step, says Fletcher is to push the government for legislation that will make it mandatory for anyone handling end of life vehicles to be certified. “With certification, people know that a recycler has been thoroughly checked out by a third-party auditor. They know they’re dealing with one of the good guys. But I’ve seen some of the nightmares out there. There are guys who buy cars just to crush them and sell them for scrap metal. They let toxic fluids and heavy metals just escape into the soil and groundwater. They don’t recycle any usable parts and don’t care about the environmental damage they’re doing. I can tell you there is a real need for legislation to make sure everyone handles vehicles responsibly and properly.”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

De-registration and recycling of end-of-life vehicles

Renewed interest has been raised in the de-registration and recycling of end-of-life vehicles in EU Member States. End-of-life vehicle treatment and recycling has been legislated by the European Union in the ELV Directive (2000/53/EC) and has been implemented in the national legislation of all 27 member states.

The ELV Directive has been a source of concern for many however, since 14 out of 27 member states didn’t meet the required recycling quota in 2006, as reported by Eurostat (1). Additionally, the reported recycling quota differ greatly between member states. This is attributed to differences in interpretation of the monitoring and reporting standards.

Another issue recently emphasized by several parties is the influence of illegal operators in the market. The European car industry carries out its producer responsibilities as stipulated by the ELV Directive 2000/53/EC and has set up collection networks in all member states. Requirements for authorized treatment facilities have also been recorded in Annex I of the aforementioned Directive. These requirements have to be met by all facilities operating in the national collection networks. This is enforced be governmental licensing procedures in the different member states.

Because of the relatively high value of metals and car components, cars have become an attractive trade product and non-licensed parties are trying to claim their share of the lucrative market. In many cases however, these parties are not upholding the necessary environmental standards nor are they reporting their recycling performance to government and/or national recycling organizations. This creates a uneven playing field and poses economical problems for recycling parties operating by the book.

Several organizations have researched the problem with these “leakages” in the recycling chain. ARN, the Dutch expertise centre for mobility recycling has found cutting of car hulks by illegal operators and waste shipments with erroneous waste transport codes to be among the causes of these leaks. Another cause of leaks are so called ‘paper exports’, transactions happening only on paper without actual export of a vehicle. This is giving illegal dismantlers the possibility to perform any illegitimate action since the vehicle does not exists anymore in the country of export (because of deregistration). Deregistration/export in an exporting country should only be possible after registration in the importing country. ARN and her partners are taking action to mitigate the problems where possible (2). ACEA, the industry organization for European automobile manufacturers proposes a number of actions in its recent position paper on the issue (3):

- Link vehicle deregistration to national registration system, if not already in place.
- Ensure that the national process has no possibility of leakage that enables continued activity by illegal operators.
- Close supervision and prosecution of illegal treatment operators with mandatory shut‐down of facility.

It is clear from these statements and the aforementioned statistics that national road registration authorities hold one of the keys to solving this issue and creating a watertight recycling network for end-of-life vehicles. This is not just of importance for car recyclers and manufacturers, but for the environment in Europe as a whole and for the preservation of valuable resources present in today’s end-of-life vehicles. The European Commission has already started a dozen infringement procedures against member states related to the ELV Directive, and more could follow. The time to act is now.

Sources:
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/waste/data/wastestreams/elvs
http://arn.nl/english/ARN/News-press/News-Items/Leaks-the-whys-and-wherefores
http://www.acea.be/images/uploads/files/20110330_dismantling.pdf

From Association of European Vehicle and Driver Registration Authorities (EReg)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quality Quest: The quandary of quality control

Written by Clint Wilson, Ideal Auto Wrecking, Chilliwack BC

When I first opened my business at the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed age of 27, I had big dreams about quality control. I remember telling my wife, “I’m going to have an entire work station with bright lights, polishers, waxes, wire brushes, sand paper, paint, primer, window cleaner, solvent, cot- ton rags, etc. etc. and not one of my parts is going to go out without being thoroughly inspected and detailed to the nines!” In theory, I still feel this way. And I do have a nice detailing station, which we use daily.

The reality of the situation however is that some times we all get busy or the yardman has an off day, or the delivery driver puts a suspension on top of a door glass or…well if you’re in the auto recycling business, I’m sure you know what I mean. But at the end of the day I still think that I—and many of my recycling friends—do a pretty good job at sending out a clean product.

Also I preach quality control like the gospel to anyone who will listen. (Sorry, BC guys, if I keep meetings running too long sometimes.) So you can imagine my chagrin when I began hearing from collision and insurance industry insiders that the high plateau of quality we once occupied has been dropping like a basement-bound elevator.

I confirmed this after I brought it up at a liaison meeting between BC recyclers and collision repair facility owners/managers just a few weeks before writing this article. After asking around and talking with my own brethren I found a theory that’s been forming as of late.

I truly believe that the current economic downturn is causing many of us to send out parts that we wouldn’t normally try to pass off on our worst enemies. Think about it: when the phones are ringing and the fur is flying, “Sorry this bumper cover has a little tear, I don’t think you’re going to like it, but I took the liberty of finding you one elsewhere. Would you like the yard’s number or shall I order it up for you?”

Which really is the way it should be, at least when dealing on insurance claims. But when things grind to a halt, payroll stays the same, the price of salvage is through the roof and we’re all fighting over the same meagre table scraps “let’s throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” starts looking like a pretty attractive answer.

Ninety-eight per cent of the people who have worked the counter in a recycling yard have been guilty of this at one time or another (and the other two per cent are liars). So what do we do about it? I hate to say it, but it’s pretty darn simple. Firstly we have to get out into our holding areas more often and look at the stuff we are shipping before it’s on the delivery truck. And for the parts that don’t pass your scrutiny? You all know that you can still sell them to rebuilders. If your sales are still hurting enough to want to try to pass less-than- perfect parts on to big quality collision facilities then you have to pick up the phone and represent your product accordingly.

If they were never going to use your parts in the first place then now is the time they’ll tell you, saving both of you costs and hassles. But stay truthful and you will at least keep the lines of communication open. I find that trying to talk them out of using a part some times works best. If they are basically begging you to send the door with three hours on it because it’s the last one in existence, what do you think the chances are they’ll return it? I sell many damaged parts to large chain shops, and most of the time they like what they are getting; many times I am getting them out of a jam and—more importantly—they are not getting a Gomer Pyle.

What’s a Gomer Pyle, you ask? Firstly you have to be old enough to remember the Jim Nabors character and his catch phrase. But you’ve all had one at one time or another. You order something from another recycler expecting a shining jewel and without warning a lump of coal with a turd stuck to it arrives at your door. “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” The term Gomer Pyle can also apply to a part that is returned to you without a phone call and usually sent collect freight just to rub a little salt into your wounds.

That’s it in a nutshell folks. Do what you can and sell what you can to ride out the current economic storm, but keep the Gomer Pyles to a minimum by looking at your parts with both eyes, polishing what can be polished, and picking up the phone to accurately represent what can’t be. Your customer appreciates it.

This article appeared in the January 2011 issue of Canadian Auto Recyclers magazine.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Management of end of life vehicles needs overhaul

The dramatic increase in scrap metal prices in the lead up to the global financial crisis saw the number of players in the end of life vehicle (ELV) collection business grow significantly and also led to a surge in older cars being stolen off the street for their scrap value.

Notwithstanding the sudden fall in prices in late 2008, the gradual return to historical values has seen the number of players in the scrapped vehicle field stay largely unchanged and competition for vehicles remains fierce.

The scrap metal industry is characterised by three tiers. At the top of the tree there are a small number of tier one corporations that operate capital intensive metal shredding and waste sorting facilities. The second tier is made up of a larger number of small to medium enterprises that buy all types of scrap metal, including whole or crushed cars and who on-sell to a tier one processor or export directly to overseas markets. Tier three is made up of a very large number of independents who collect cars and other scrap metal direct from the public and includes auto recyclers who sell the remains of dismantled cars to tier one and two metal recyclers.

With an estimated 600,000 ELVs processed each year, recycling motor cars is a substantial national business that also delivers important environmental benefits when vehicles are processed using best practice recycling methods.

Unfortunately, there are two main problems with the ELV recycling system as it currently operates. The first concerns the negative environmental impacts associated with the very large percentage of vehicles that are scrapped without first being de-commissioned in an environmentally responsible way. The second is that there is presently no practical means for metal recyclers in any tier to verify the provenance or even record the identities of the cars they receive. Once a car is crushed and shredded its identifiers and any potential criminal evidence such as fingerprints and DNA are lost forever.

The NMVTRC estimates the number of cars stolen in ‘theft for scrap’ rackets at around 3,500 per year although it could easily exceed that number. There is a strong likelihood that a significant proportion of the body shells of a further 9,000 stolen and stripped cars also end up in metal shredders.

Under the current ELV system metal recyclers have no practical means to verify the identities of vehicles to be crushed and shredded.

In 2010 the NMVTRC commissioned a report to examine the structure and day-to-day functioning of the Australian metal recycling industry and how the vehicle identity issue might be addressed.
The report took a pragmatic approach when examining possible means of addressing the current problems. It concluded that given the volume of vehicles that are processed each year and the industry structures that currently exist, measures such as simply extending the written-off vehicle notification requirements to all ELVs by themselves would not be sufficient to deter criminal activity.

There are no simple fixes to these problems and the ultimate solution lies in a significant re-alignment of the end of life vehicle process, most probably along the lines of the UK vehicle scrappage scheme. This may ultimately include introducing the concept of the last registered operator having ongoing financial responsibility for a vehicle until they can demonstrate that it has been delivered to an accredited treatment facility (ATF). The ATF would be legally responsible for, and have the facilities, to verify the legal status of the vehicle, properly de-commission it, and notify their state transport agency that the vehicle has been recycled before it could be processed as scrap.

The current policy and industry settings present significant challenges to introducing such a scheme here in Australia however the NMVTRC is committed to working with relevant agencies and industry groups to find practical responses to these challenges.

National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council

Monday, July 11, 2011

Atlantic Association Adopts National Code of Practice for Auto Recycling

Until recently, the general public really had no measurable assurance of environmental responsibility when they turned an end-of-life vehicle over. There was no sign to tell them whether they were dealing with one of the good guys or not when it came to handling that vehicle properly. That has all changed with a bold move by the Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC) to require all of its members to be certified to the National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers.

Derek Covey from Covey Auto Recyclers in Blandford NS, the President of the association explains the new rule. “We have always encouraged our members to follow best environmental practices in every aspect of their operations. In fact, we have long advocated that these kinds of regulations should be legislated for anyone handling end of life vehicles. But until now, there was never a way to accurately and objectively measure both the facilities and the processes our members used. This code was developed by the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) for Environment Canada to support the national “Retire Your Ride” program. It includes some pretty stringent compliance requirements for a recycling operation to properly and legally process a vehicle. So with all of our members now certified to that code, we can finally state with absolute confidence that all of our members do things the right way.”

ARAAC and ARC retained an independent auditor to physically visit all of the 27 members in the four Atlantic Provinces and evaluate their business against the standardized protocol. Any potential shortcomings were rectified and confirmed by the auditor before a recycler was certified. Any recycler who wants to join the association in the future will first need to complete the certification audit as a condition of membership.

Every vehicle that a Certified member handles goes through a methodical process to maximize reclamation and minimize environmental impact. Good reusable parts, batteries, mercury switches, oils, fluids, coolants, gasoline, and refrigerants are all removed and properly managed before the remaining hulk is sent for metal recycling.

As a veteran of the auto recycling industry, Covey knows all too well the need for this push to regulate the industry. “I wish we could say that everybody processes end-of-life vehicles the way ARAAC members do. I’ve seen firsthand some of the real nightmares out there. There are guys who buy cars just to crush them and sell them for the value of the metal. They let toxic fluids and heavy metals just escape into the soil and groundwater. They don’t recycle any usable parts and don’t care about the damage they’re doing to the environment. With this certification, people know that our operator have been thoroughly checked out by a third-party auditor. They know they’re dealing with one of the good guys.”