"More than 84 percent, by weight, of the 12 to15 million vehicles dismantled each year are recycled. That makes end-of-life vehicles the most recycled product in America, both in volume and percentage."
Straight from the mouths of automotive manufacturers and an intriguing press release from the "Vehicle Recycling Partnership LLC" or VRC; a group managed by The United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). They will have a recycling exhibit at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that "will showcase the collaborative efforts among Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation to reduce the environmental impact of end-of-life vehicles."USCAR is the umbrella organization for collaborative research between those three American automotive giants. Their VRP program has honorable objectives; finding ways to dismantle and recycle vehicles and keep automotive waste out of landfills.
Here's where the buzz words (including our up and coming LCA) come in:
"As part of its portfolio of "green" advances, the VRP: created material selection and design guidelines to optimize vehicle recyclability; partnered with the dismantling industry to improve the safety and efficiency of vehicle disassembly; and compiled industry data to create an end-of-life vehicle "Life Cycle Analysis" map that identifies each step of the vehicle recycling process."
There are obvious reasons to be skeptical when reading a press release from these gas-guzzling giants, but the other side of the critical coin makes one think that these are the guys that need to work together to get life cycle data together so that we can have accurate studies. Manufacturer collaboration is essential for up-to-date databases.
However, it is each of our responsibilities to leave those cars in the garage and walk to work, take your bike, grab the skate board, wheel to work on roller blades or hop on public transport. Let's see what else they have to say about the environment in Detroit. Read the full press release here. More on cars and LCA here. Image copyright and credit: Charlie Fagan 2000.