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Atlantic Association Adopts National Code of Practice for Auto Recycling

Until recently, the general public really had no measurable assurance of environmental responsibility when they turned an end-of-life vehicle over. There was no sign to tell them whether they were dealing with one of the good guys or not when it came to handling that vehicle properly. That has all changed with a bold move by the Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC) to require all of its members to be certified to the National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers.

Derek Covey from Covey Auto Recyclers in Blandford NS, the President of the association explains the new rule. “We have always encouraged our members to follow best environmental practices in every aspect of their operations. In fact, we have long advocated that these kinds of regulations should be legislated for anyone handling end of life vehicles. But until now, there was never a way to accurately and objectively measure both the facilities and the processes our members used. This code was developed by the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) for Environment Canada to support the national “Retire Your Ride” program. It includes some pretty stringent compliance requirements for a recycling operation to properly and legally process a vehicle. So with all of our members now certified to that code, we can finally state with absolute confidence that all of our members do things the right way.”

ARAAC and ARC retained an independent auditor to physically visit all of the 27 members in the four Atlantic Provinces and evaluate their business against the standardized protocol. Any potential shortcomings were rectified and confirmed by the auditor before a recycler was certified. Any recycler who wants to join the association in the future will first need to complete the certification audit as a condition of membership.

Every vehicle that a Certified member handles goes through a methodical process to maximize reclamation and minimize environmental impact. Good reusable parts, batteries, mercury switches, oils, fluids, coolants, gasoline, and refrigerants are all removed and properly managed before the remaining hulk is sent for metal recycling.

As a veteran of the auto recycling industry, Covey knows all too well the need for this push to regulate the industry. “I wish we could say that everybody processes end-of-life vehicles the way ARAAC members do. I’ve seen firsthand some of the real nightmares out there. There are guys who buy cars just to crush them and sell them for the value of the metal. They let toxic fluids and heavy metals just escape into the soil and groundwater. They don’t recycle any usable parts and don’t care about the damage they’re doing to the environment. With this certification, people know that our operator have been thoroughly checked out by a third-party auditor. They know they’re dealing with one of the good guys.”