What We’re Reading: Educating Youth on Auto Recycling

November 18, 2014

From Recycling Today, a contest to energize awareness around auto recycling in students grades 5-12 is being held by JASON Learning and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

Dubbed the Automotive Recycling Awareness contest, students are assigned to research materials that go into making a car, find out what happens to each commodity in the auto recycling process and create a video or poster in infomercial or awareness campaign style. These formats are used to illustrate the processes and challenges recyclers face to complete the recycling life cycle.

From this crop, the top videos and posters will be used to show to the public how recycled products and parts can be used, and emphasize the importance of designing cars for end of life processes. 

It's encouraging to see organizations taking the initiative to help students realize the efficiency of auto recycling. Although it is the oldest and one of the most efficient recycling processes, sometimes even public figures can be misguided concerning auto recycling and how it saves waste while putting quality parts back into rotation. Videos and posters produced by these students can help raise awareness among a younger generation to the benefits of recycling.

“Last year, more than 11.5 million cars in the United States were recycled into commodity grade materials including metals, glass, plastic, rubber and textiles,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “By exploring automobile recycling in a fun and educational way, this contest gives young people the opportunity to learn about the life cycle and value of every commodity. At the same time, it will encourage many students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math in fields such as the recycling industry."

Entries to the contest must be submitted by Jan. 15, 2015. 

Scrap value increase brings rise in unlicensed salvage yards

A report from WPRI Eyewitness News from Providence, Rhode Island claims a spike in scrap metal prices has caused an increase in the number of unlicensed auto salvage yards. There are just 67 licensed salvage yards in the state, and some of the owners of these yards say the state is doing little about the problem.

Illegal yards are a hazard to the environment and breach ethics by not being regulated nor paying licensing fees among other violations. 

An interview with Rhode Island yard owner Mike Cavanaugh of J&D Auto Salvage in the story reveals he believes there are twice as many unlicensed yards as licensed yards and the RI Department of Business Regulations has done little (just three documented bust periods in three years) to staunch the problem. The DBR has one inspector to cover the yard issue in addition to a load of other cases to work in different regulatory areas. 

“The [Department of Environmental Management] comes here, at any given time they could walk in the door right now for an inspection,” Cavanaugh says in the story. “The fluids from the cars, where the batteries go, the mercury switches… we have to account for.”

The report is a wake-up call to yards all over of the problem recyclers face with unlicensed operations. The DBR in Rhode Island runs on tips, so staying proactive and alerting the proper figures is essential in outing these illegal operations.

GM extends claims deadline for ignition switches

GM has extended the deadline to file claims under its faulty ignition switch compensation program by one month to Jan. 31, 2015, according to the program's administrator, Kenneth Feinberg.

The extension notice was sent to 4.5 million current and previous owners. Feinberg said the event of the extension was GM being abundantly cautious in regards to the matter.

GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility began accepting claims Aug. 1 2015.

From a recycler and business perspective, Rebuilders Automotive Supply has been offering to buy recalled ignition switches since August, offering $75 per part. 


It’s great tot hear that 11.5 million cars were recycled. I think its a wonderful idea to learn about the life cycle of every commodity like you mentioned. I find recycling such an intriguing thing because you take a car and turn it into something else, its amazing. Thank you for a simple and great post.

Just like you mention it is important to design cars with their end life in mind. Cars need to be able to be recycled when they are done being used, so new products can be made from them. Also I think your efforts to educate the youth about recycling is a great thing. Thank you for the great post.

Recycling and auto recycling process is really beneficial for people as well as environment. Therefore several manufacturing companies are always taking beneficial steps to make success recycling process.  And I am sure that people are also contributing their best to develop recycling projects.

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