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Canadian Environmental Final Frontier

The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) recently announced the sponsorship of an end-of-life vehicle (ELV) management project in the Canadian Far North. This project will result in the protection of water resources, the improvement of local capacity and the development of data to prove concepts for sustainable ELV recovery in Northern Canada; one of the last strategic hold-ups for a pan-Canadian automotive recycling standard.

Teamwork Makes Great Work

To tackle the challenge of northern vehicle recycling, ARC will be joining a team of experts assembled by Summerhill Impact, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to leadership in the areas of energy efficiency, product stewardship, climate adaptation, transportation, health and water. ARC has previously collaborated with Summerhill Impact on a number of other successful programs, including Retire Your Ride, the national vehicle recycling program; Switch Out, Canada’s automotive mercury recovery program; and on the development and deployment of the Canadian Auto Recyclers Environmental Code.

Other partners contributing to this project include Environment Canada, through the EcoAction Community Funding Program and Gerdau Ameristeel, one of Canada’s largest steel recyclers and producers. Together, these partners will supply vital funding, as well as consultative support to ensure the program meets its objectives.

Project Goals

The project, currently titled “End-of-Life Vehicle Waste Diversion in the Canadian North” is designed to engage, educate and employ local community members in ELV waste diversion from remote communities. The main goal is to prevent harmful potential pollutants in ELVs from contaminating local water resources through empowering community members, improving their capacity for vehicle recycling and enabling them to take action alongside industry professionals. To meet this goal, ARC members will be travelling northward to train, mentor and work along-side northern community members.

A secondary goal of this project is to see to the recovery of ELVs from communities that currently have no resources to have them transported to recycling facilities. Doing so will relieve pressure on local dumpsites, restore tracts of nature adjacent to each community and recover valuable recyclable resources.

The Frontier of Recycling

Beyond creating positive outcomes for the environment and northern communities, this project will also have constructive implications for the development of vehicle recycling policy in Canada. A current hold-up with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s review of ARC’s White Paper, “A National Approach to the Environmental Management of End-of-life Vehicles in Canada” has centered on gaps in knowledge around northern vehicle recycling. This project will close those gaps and show ARC’s ongoing dedication to vehicle recycling across all of Canada, including the vast far north.