Earth Day 2010
URG Members Across North America Celebrate the Fortieth Anniversary of Earth Day
April 22, 2010 – Centennial, Colorado – Earth Day turns forty, and the United Recycling Group (URG) joins the celebration by highlighting the important green business practices of its members. No major industry in America is greener than the auto salvage industry. From big cities to small towns, communities across America benefits from the sustainable and environmentally sound methods followed by auto salvage companies who create affordable green (reused) auto parts, and recycle most everything else in a vehicle that cannot be reused.
“Every day is Earth Day for an auto recycler! What we do is green, and always has been” says Michelle Alexander, URG executive director. “URG members lead the way for the industry when it comes to the eco-friendly processes and procedures used to dismantle, salvage, and recycle and end-of-life vehicle. 95% of a car can be reused or recycled. About 70% of a typical car being scrapped turns into ‘green parts’ that can be reused, while about 25% can be recycled, with the remainder ending up in the trash. This whole process occurs in a very environmentally friendly way, and it demonstrates why URG’s member auto recycling companies are considered to be so ‘green’.”
“Reused parts are really ‘green parts’ that are good for the environment -- compared to the manufacture of new parts -- and good for your wallet too,” says Richard Filley, executive director of the not-for-profit GreenCARR Foundation (Mesa, AZ). This all matters, he says, because about 11 million cars are scrapped each year in the United States, and they are processed by over 6,000 auto salvage and recycling companies across America. He says that “URG members lead the way for the entire automotive recycling industry, not just in terms of the actual methods used to dismantle and recycle a vehicle, but also in their cutting edge approaches to doing business that streamline the processes used to get green parts back into the supply chain for vehicle repairers and collision centers.”
Kristin Allen, office manager at URG member Grassy Auto Parts (West Liberty, KY) says her company has partnered with the State of Kentucky Division of Waste Management to recycle major appliances (such as dryers and washing machines). “We view this as a community service that lets us reach out to the people in this area,” says Allen. “We collect the appliances during the week and use our crusher to recycle them. The appliance metal just goes right into our crushed car metal recycling pile, so it really isn’t much extra work for us. In fact, we even pay people $5 for each appliance to give them a little incentive to bring in their old appliance and recycle it.” She notes that her office is also green, going digital and paperless whenever possible, and recycling paper when printing is necessary.
One URG member company is using a billboard to tout the green aspects of auto recycling. Doug Jaramillo, Manager of Transwest Auto Parts (Lehi, UT) says “we’ve got a billboard right on I-15 near out facility, and we get several calls per week mentioning it.” He adds that his company has also adopted nearby Eagle Crest Elementary School, and saves all of their paper, cardboard and aluminum cans for a recycling program the kids and teachers run to generate revenue for school programs.
Counselman Automotive Recycling (Mobile, AL) promotes Earth Day and the idea of ‘going green’ to their customers in a green themed flyer they have been sending out this spring. Stating that “We are committed to Earth Day every day!” the flyer provides facts about recycled auto parts and the green auto recycling industry. Of course, they also highlight how going green can save consumer money by going green and using recycled parts.
URG member Mike French, owner of Mike French & Company, has put together a ‘Green Fact Sheet’ about auto recycling for his customers. He notes that cars are one of the most recycled products on the planet, and also that it isn’t just metal, but a huge amount of oil and other fluids are recycled when vehicles are salvaged.
URG’s Michelle Alexander adds that “Thanks to our auto recycling industry, the brakes are being tapped on climate change; energy consumption is being reduced; less material is being mined, refined and used; many forms of pollution are lowered; and the carbon footprint for the whole auto industry is being reduced.” That’s something we can all celebrate on Earth Day 2010.
URG has taken the lead in creating new awareness and understanding of the modern green automotive recycling industry, including the preparation of the PowerPoint presentation, “Green, Lean, and Sustainable: The New Era of Automotive Recycling.” URG: Working together to improve and modernize the green automotive recycling industry. For more information, go to the United Recyclers Group website at www.u-r-g.com or call 303-367-4391.