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Re-Think Recycling

The world of the automotive recycler has been infiltrated. Their secrets exposed, their operation examined. Are they upset? Do they want justice? Not in the slightest. In fact, the raid was their idea in the first place.

Top executives representing Canada’s most influential insurance companies were invited to take a look inside three of Ontario’s biggest and busiest recyclers, Dom’s Auto Parts, Standard Auto Wreckers and Carcone’s Auto Recycling and Wheel Refinishing.

There is a lot of hearsay about what goes on in the recycling yard. This was the day to set the record straight.

At 8:00 a.m. the bus leaves for Dom’s Auto Parts in Oshawa. As we arrive the group is educated on the beginning stages of recycling a vehicle.

Clean up of the part is extremely important to the insurance company, so owner Dom Vetere is particular in explaining how his team dismantles each vehicle properly in order to provide the best quality product. The group of insurance brokers is clearly impressed with the facility.

“It’s an eye opener,” proclaims Dominic Maurini, ING Direct. “It’s refreshing to see how organized everyone is.”

Following the presentation the bus ventures into the massive 55 acre spread. Dom explains how the cars are categorized.

“It’s much more high-tech than it used to be,” says Dom. “All parts are bar coded, tagged and entered in the computer, making the operation easier to regulate and much more efficient.”

The tour heads next to Standard Auto Wreckers in Scarborough where owner Dave Gold discusses parts grading. Each part is coded to accurately assess the amount of damage. “Grading hones in on where the damage is,” he explains.

The group is then ushered toward a fleet of golf carts waiting to be driven through what feels like an endless collection of car mirrors, doors, bumpers, front ends and grills.

Standard Auto Wreckers is famous for their ‘You Pick’ weekends where people are invited to stroll through the yard and pick out whatever pieces they desire.

The last stop on the tour is Carcone’s Auto Recycling and Wheel Refinishing in Aurora.

Here the insurers are introduced to Carcone’s famous wheel room, where wheels from all salvaged cars are taken, restructured and refinished through stages of power coating, aluminum shaving and painting to look brand new.

“This is quite the operation,” says Rich Zamperin of Allstate Insurance.

After the wheel room the insurance brokers get an inside look at the soft ware Carcone’s uses to price out vehicles they want to buy from an auction.

“It’s interesting,” says Dominic Maurini, “The buying and selling of parts has escalated to the point of an art form.”

One thing is clear, the communication barrier between these two industries has been dissolved, and hopes for the future are high.

Written by Andrea Smitko, Collision Repair Magazine