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Strict Environmental Code is the New Gold Standard for the Auto Recyclers of Canada Members

Whether by accident or through years of dutiful service, your vehicle has finally reached the end of the road. Few of us realize that deciding where to take it is a vitally important environmental decision. The truth is, not everyone handles vehicles the way they should and when that happens, the environmental impact can be disastrous. A program called The Canadian Auto Recyclers’ Environmental Code (CAREC) aims to make sure you’re dealing with one of the “good guys”.

Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of ARC, explained the evolution of the program. “This came out of Environment Canada’s National Code of Practice for Automotive Recyclers, developed to support the Retire Your Ride scrappage program. It laid out some pretty stringent compliance requirements for a recycling operation to properly process a vehicle. CAREC goes beyond the structure of the original program and has become an invaluable resource for automotive recyclers in the environmentally sound management of end-of-life vehicles.”

The new program has three goals:

• To convey the legal and mandatory requirements before, during, and after the recycling process and promote best management practices within the industry;

• To promote pollution prevention and the vehicle recovery industry to reduce the ecological impact of the automotive sector; and

• To ensure that there is a consistent set of practices that are aligned with federal, provincial, and municipal regulations, as well as with product and industry stewardship programs.

For an auto recycler to be certified to the code, they must pass an independent audit which objectively measures both their facilities and the processes they use against a standardized protocol. ARC has made it a condition of membership for all of its Direct Members to maintain their certification.

So, as a vehicle owner, why should you care whether or not a recycler is certified? Fletcher explains. “Unfortunately, not everybody processes end-of-life vehicles the way ARC members do. There are some operators who buy cars just to crush them and sell them for the value of the metal. They leave toxic fluids and heavy metals to escape into the soil and groundwater. They don’t recycle usable parts and have no regard to the damage they’re doing to the environment. At face value it’s almost impossible for the average vehicle owner to figure out who the responsible recyclers are and who they should avoid at all costs. When they deal with an ARC member, they know that operator has been thoroughly checked out.”