ARC chair delivers one-year updates
In 2021, Dalbert Livingstone from Island Auto Supply was elected as Chair of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) Board of Directors. Canadian Auto Recyclers sat down with Dalbert to talk about the future
of the national association.
Canadian Auto Recyclers: You have been in the Chairman’s role for 10 months now—how are things going?
Dalbert Livingstone: Good—I think. I am enjoying the responsibility and added level of insight into what goes on nationally. I hope my peers see it the same way. I had been involved with ARC as the regional rep for the Atlantic association for some time now, and I spent some time on the Board of Directors of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), so I knew a little about the inner-workings of ARC and the industry associations. Having our past chair, Wally Dingman, available to guide me has been a big plus. He was in the role for 10 years, so big shoes to fill, but he has been there every step of the way.
What I didn’t know about ARC was how many closed meetings takes place. Conference calls, Zoom calls, Teams meetings, one-on-one discussions with chairs or executives directors or senior staff are quite common when dealing with OEMs, government officials, and other associations. It’s not like anything nefarious is happening behind closed doors – these smaller group meetings make for open and great communication.
CAR: What are some of the big projects ARC is working on?
DL: Two of our biggest that come to mind are training and readying members for the incoming EV wave. Our members need the knowledge of how to safely dismantle, process and store high-voltage vehicles. We also need clarity on what kind of market there will be for the batteries and components of EVs. Engines and transmissions are our biggest revenue generators—how will that look when cars are electric?
The second is obtaining salvage. Our vehicle acquisition programs—Car Heaven and Retire Your Ride—are fully functional salvage programs and are ready for incentive buy backs at any time. However, with nothing current from government or OEMs, we need to grow this program on its own merits. It is tough with the high prices being obtained by auction houses right now, but as operating costs continue to climb for our members, increasing our cost of goods sold at the same time is not ideal.
CAR: Electrification is growing, and this will affect auto recyclers. How are you following this emerging issue?
DL: We are working on training and education to start but securing a market for the batteries and high value components is where we would like to see more information.
ARC has done a great job so far in inserting ourselves in the incredible array of conversations that are happening around electrification–within the industry, Canada, North America and around the world. We held a great industry event online in November 2021 that really propelled ARC into the discussions, making sure auto recyclers have a seat at the table.
CAR: ARC has been involved in many global efforts to enhance the auto recycling industry. Is that something you will continue?
DL: Of course, having all our members audited to uphold the best envi- ronmental practices is what put ARC on the map. It allowed us to run our vehicle programs, and ensure that all cars that come off the road are de-pol- luted properly. We didn’t forget our roots, and are working on improving the audit process to incorporate EV’s. Our CAREC code has been widely studied across the globe and we continue to benefit from ARC’s engagement with like-minded associations.
CAR: Did your time with ARA help in your work with ARC?
DL: I do see that as a benefit. Not only did I gain some international ex- perience, I had a network already in place of some of the best auto recyclers in North America. ARC and ARA have regular communication meetings to help keep our goals aligned, and make sure we are not doing double work. For example, if ARA has already developed EV protocols into their audits, they will share that information rather than have us spend the time to re-develop it. The same works back for them. I really see my time there as a way to build a bridge between both associations and help represent the North American way of auto recycling to the rest of the world.
CAR: What would you personally like to achieve with ARC while in the Chair’s position?
DL: It will probably be a short term, as there are lots of people who want the added responsibilities; however, I would like to see the integration of EV’s into member training, auditing and generally be ready and able to sell EV products under my tenure here. We have spent so much time on this issue over the last couple of years, I would really like to see this one to the end where our members are processing and remaining profitable with EV’s in the marketplace.
CAR: Any parting final words?
DL: Mentorship is key to anyone wanting to get involved at a high level. I am fortunate enough to have a few people to guide me on daily basis. I would be lost if it wasn’t for them. I only hope I can pay it forward some day and mentor the folks coming behind me.