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Recycling in The Automotive Industry

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Among the largest market for automotive in North America is Canada. Every year the total value of automotive imports to Canada from America increases, for example in 2016 there was a 6% rise which included 9.6% of imports of automotive parts and 5.8% for overall vehicle imports. Recycled old vehicles constitute over 25 million tons of items, annually. Canada and USA recycle automobiles which provide enough steel to make over 10 million new vehicles.

There are various Federal policy and legislative requirements that recyclers of automotive must adhere to, on the federal lands during their code of practice. The following are some of the federal acts that have an impact on automotive recyclers’ activities; (TDG) Transport of Dangerous Good Act, Fisheries Act, and (CEPA) Canadian Environmental Protection Act. CEPA has the most influence by having several regulations that control automotive recyclers. (Sawyer-Beaulieu, Stagner, & Tam, 2014)

The TDG provides regulations provide certain requirements that govern automotive contractors/recyclers that are transporting lead acid batteries, mercury or oils. Lead acid batteries and mercury represent Class 8 Hazardous Goods while Class 3 Dangerous Good is for used oil. Adequate precautions are required during the transportation of these hazardous materials even if it is low, and all these three substances are characterized by Packing Group 3.

The FA (Fisheries Act) gives protection to the fish and its habitat in Canada. Automotive recyclers should be aware that most hazardous items that are from end-of-life vehicles recovery or used on site are dangerous to fish. They should also have the map of every virtual stream, ditch, and tributary because they lead to the oceans or fish-bearing lakes, rivers.

CEPA was formed in 1999 that provides protection to the environment and prevents pollution. Prevention of pollution entails management of toxic substances like lead, volatile organic compounds, chlorofluorocarbons, mercury, and carbon tetrachloride solvents. Many legislations and policy have been enforced on hazardous substances in automotive recycling, for example, implementation and preparation of plans for prevention of pollution from mercury switches that release mercury during the process of end-of-life vehicles in steel mills.

CEPA uses four regulations to influence hazardous materials management by automotive recyclers, which include the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations (OSR), the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations (EIHWR), the Federal Halocarbon Regulations (FHR) and the Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Wastes Regulations (IMHO). Automotive recyclers must be informed of the fate of the harmful materials that might be generated on site and should also ensure that his/her waste management techniques are in compliance with IMHWR’s provisions as they are transporting across borders. According to EIHWR, the recyclers of automotive should also work together with other companies that manage waste, to aid them in the disposal of waste materials; hazardous waste can be transported across the international border.

Most of territories and provinces in Canada have jurisdictions that manage hazardous materials, for example, the Environmental Management Act used in British Columbia, TDG used in Manitoba and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act used in Albert. Others include the Automobile Junk Yards Act used in Prince Edward Island and Vehicle Dismantling and Recycling Industry Environmental Planning Regulation used in British Columbia.

Automotive recyclers are not considered as waste management facilities or are not required to get a number of approvals or consignor identification in order to work. These exemptions are because the quantity of the 30-day period of hazardous materials recovered is below threshold set of a province/territory.

Also through territorial/provincial stewardship programs, there is the recycling of used tires where the steel recovered is recycled while the rubber recovered is processed into new materials. Discharges or runoffs from automotive recyclers to the environment must not have any effect/impact to the aquatic life. The levels of discharge are set by each province. (Park, & Kim, 2017)

AIA Canada is the resource and voice for the aftermarket for automotive industries located in Canada. It also encourages people living in Canada to follow the government’s legislation and regulations. The AIA supports the testing of the vehicle standards and capabilities, also the testing of vehicle emissions to help reduce the pollutants brought by automobiles in the atmosphere.

There are a couple of reasons why the AIA supports the recycling of automotive:

  •  Some the recycled components may be used as replacement parts for other vehicles, which makes the market for replacement parts competitive, saves energy costs and reduces wastes hence improving the environment.
  • A good inventory of remanufactured and recycled parts provides the consumer with low repair prices and also an option of keeping their old vehicles on the road.
  • It will also improve the country’s economy in the provincial or local level and increase the federal tax revenues by giving employment to thousands of people through the automotive aftermarket.
  • This program will also reduce the number of available used cars because the low-income individuals will be able to afford.

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Recycling in the Automotive Industry. (2018, October 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from
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