Alberta’s recyclers review 2013 and look forward to 2014

By Steve Cox, AARDA President

Steve Cox is the President of the Alberta Automotive Recyclers & Dismantlers Association (AARDA).  

Edmonton, Alberta — January 15, 2013 — For the most part, 2013 was a pretty good year for Alberta’s automotive recycling industry. Looking back on this past year, I wanted to reflect on some our most recent progress, while also looking ahead at some of the developments that are possible for us in 2014.

During 2012 we had achieved the milestone of having all our recycler members make the grade in terms of their Canadian Auto Recyclers’ Environmental Code (CAREC) scores and we were able to give a very positive report to the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC). ARC had decided a while back that the CAREC inspections would have to occur every two years other than for those recyclers whose scores had exceeded 85 percent.  In those cases, recyclers could have an additional year between re-inspections or audits.   
To support our recycler members, our Board made a decision to pay the CAREC auditor’s fee for the first re-inspection carried out at each member’s location. As a result, members were only to be asked to pay the auditor’s travel expenses. The rate for this was set at $225 so members who were more remotely located than others (for example, compared to yards in major cities) were not disadvantaged.  Colin McKean was out to see roughly 35 percent of our member yards this past fall to begin this process of re-audit or re-inspection, and these audits will continue in 2014 until all members have been revisited by the CAREC auditor for the next round.
During 2013 we continued to be quite active in our charitable programs as well, giving out just over $14,000 to charities in Alberta that were selected and nominated by individual AARDA yards. 
The list of worthy causes that received our charity funds ranged from animal shelters to children’s hospitals and cancer research and many other very worthwhile community causes. The idea was to involve our yards not only in the selection of grant recipients but also in presenting those gifts directly to the charity officials. It turned out to be a great way to spread some goodwill  and positive publicity at the local level. There remains about  $14,000 to be disbursed in terms of the grant money AARDA earned from the Ford and GM end-of-vehicle life programs and the Board has decided that the association should repeat what we did last year by giving seven Alberta colleges $2,000 each for student scholarships.
Another significant development in 2013 was the celebration of AARDA’s 25 year anniversary which was held in Sylvan Lake in conjunction with a fun golf tournament. By all accounts it was well attended and a complete success. 
Speaking of conferences, planning has begun in earnest for the 2014 conference and you can expect to hear some of the details on that quite early in the new year. I won’t say much in this message about it, except to indicate that one of our objectives in planning the coming event is to locate our conference venue in close proximity to a great automotive event to increase member interest and also so that they can get extra value out of attending the 2014 AGM and Conference. You’ll be hearing more about the planned conference date and location in the weeks ahead.
Another significant event for AARDA in 2013 was our participation in the Canadian Collision Industry Forum held in Edmonton in September. Our presentation made the case for increased use of green recycled parts to collision repair shops and insurance representatives present. From all accounts the presentation was well received and our messages came through loud and clear.  
These efforts are a clear case of how we can achieve far more impact by working together as an industry association than we could ever hope to as individual businesses. In line with this we also introduced our new website mid-year which follows the same functions and design as ARC’s new site while also emphasizing the new green recycled parts branding that has been adopted across the country. 
The coming year will be an important juncture in the life of our association and a year when we will be looking to existing Board Members to re-commit to their role serving our association while also looking for new Board Members to step up and fill any positions that may be vacated at the time of our next Annual General Meeting. I encourage all of our members to start giving this thought right now. If you would like further information about the various Board Member roles, I encourage you to call Ian Hope or any of our Board Members who will be quite happy to fill you in.  
In closing I would like to wish all of members of Canada’s automotive aftermarket the very best wishes of this holiday season and express how much the Board of Directors and I are looking forward to working with you in future as we build a better industry that will benefit us all. 

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