'Retire Your Ride' to Boost Canada's Car Recycling Rate

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Canada’s new program, Retire Your Ride, has already resulted in the recycling of more than 2,000 cars throughout the country that were manufactured in 1995 or earlier.

Cars older than 14 years are being targeted because these models tend to produce more pollution, as much as 19 percent more than a 2004 or newer model. Canada’s Clean Air Foundation estimates that these cars equal about 25 percent of the automobiles on Canadian roads.

As incentive for those who recycle, the program is offering free membership to a car sharing program or a public transportation pass. For those looking for a new car, the program also offers rebates or $300 cash.

The vehicle must be in running condition, registered and insured for the past six months. This would seemingly eliminate eligibility for “junk cars.” During Keep America Beautiful’s 2008 Great American Cleanup, more than 15,000 junk cars were collected and recycled.

Car recycling provides a number of different materials for reprocessing, and 75 percent of the typical car is recyclable. Car frames and body parts are made of steel, batteries have lead and plastic, motor oil and filters can be recycled and tires can reclaim rubber. The video below shows a tour of BMW’s recycling facility.

Also, Canadian province British Columbia just announced its 50 millionth recycled tire last week. That’s enough tires to wrap around the Earth at the Equator.

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger