Stewards of the environment
The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) is an umbrella organization of six provincial associations, plus SGI Salvage, that represents approximately 425 professional auto recyclers across Canada. Initially formed as a group to share ideas among recyclers, ARC has also taken on a number of exciting national and even international projects:
Car Heaven operates as a quasi-national vehicle retirement program managed by the Clean Air Foundation in conjunction with ARC and several of the provincial associations. The program provides vehicles for members to dismantle and sell parts from — which is the mainstay of any modern auto recycling operation. The federal government has announced $36 million in funding to establish a National Vehicle Scrappage Program, which will either use Car Heaven as the medium, or use the learning generated by Car Heaven’s successful eight-year history. Either way, professional auto recyclers have been identified as the only logical infrastructure for a successful program. In addition, Environment Canada is funding a proposal to develop a National Code of Practice to support Vehicle Scrappage that, while a voluntary initiative, should go a long way in bringing much-needed structure to our industry.
Mercury Switch Out
ARC also works with the Clean Air Foundation on its Mercury Switch Out Program. This initiative removes the mercury pellet in convenience light switches before a vehicle is crushed and released to the environment. Environment Canada has published a Notice under the Canadian Environment Protection Act making it mandatory for auto manufacturers, who created the problem in the first place, and steel producers, who release the mercury when they melt the scrap from cars, to prepare pollution prevention plans that include funding a national program to remove switches before crushing. We are in the final stages of discussions to make Switch Out a fully funded multi-year national program.
ARC has successfully completed negotiations with the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) to cooperate on areas of mutual interest. ARA is at the forefront of creating a wide variety of internationally recognized standards for the industry, including standards for damage location and description, and airbag handling. These standards have been openly adopted by ARC and many of its members. In addition ARC, along with ARA and our colleagues in Europe, Japan, and Australia, have conducted three successful International Roundtables on Auto Recycling (IRT), aimed at sharing information and resources on a global basis.