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Retiring old cars helps environment and wallets

Getting rid of an old junky ride has never been easier.

Retire your ride, a program through the Government of Canada and the Clean Air Foundation, is a national vehicle recycling program. The program’s goal is simple, to get cars from 1995 or earlier off the streets in an effort to reduce air pollution.

According to the organization, a vehicle from 1995 or earlier emits 19 times more air pollution than a 2004 or newer vehicle. Yet, on average, 75 per cent of that vehicle can be recycled.

Now, with the retire your ride program, the government has thrown in an added incentive to take that old vehicle off the road.

“Clean Air Foundation has always worked to engage people to take environmental action. By rewarding them for making positive environmental choices we can drive massive change,” said Fatima Crerar, Executive Director of Clean Air Foundation.

Car owners who bring in their car from 1995 or earlier that is currently licensed and insured, and has been for the past six consecutive months, can receive a $300 cheque.

The stipulation for it to be licensed and insured is to help ensure that by participating, the owner is in fact taking an old car off the road.

“It’s a fantastic program, good for the environment and good for consumers” said Wally Dingman of Caughill Auto Wreckers.

Caughill Auto is a member of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers association (OARA), the industry association that administers the Retire Your Ride program in Ontario.

“OARA views the Retire Your Ride program as a huge boost for the industry by mandating a national Code of Practice to ensure these vehicles are recycled responsibly” said Dingman, chair of OARA.

Since February more than 15,000 cars have been permanently retired and recycled through the program, with 15,000 more applications currently in the system.

On average, there is are 160-200 applications processed a day, with the highest single one-day spike being 420.

In Niagara-on-the-Lake, Caughill Auto on East and West Line is the only authorized Retire Your Ride facility.

“The process is very simple” said Dingman. “Complete the application form and provide proof of ownership and insurance and we will do the rest”

The $300 cheque is mailed directly to the applicant which can take from 4-6 weeks to receive.

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