Banff, Alberta — July 26, 2011 — At a recent meeting in Banff, Alberta 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.
ARC developed the National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers 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.”