Much of vehicles recycled-MEMA
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.- What happens when U.S. cars and light trucks reach the end of their road?
When they're no longer reliable transportation, they head for the scrap heap. But according to the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), more than 76 percent of each scrapped vehicle (by weight) is recycled.
Frank Hampshire, MEMA director of research, said that more than 10 million vehicles reach the end of their useful lives each year in the U.S., but there is a public misconception that scrapped vehicles have little or no value. ``The reality is that the scrapped vehicles and remanufactured parts represent a tremendous value to American consumers,'' he said.
Scrapped autos are not sent to a local landfill, but are instead salvaged for reusable parts, steel and iron. The Steel Recycling Institute reports the steel industry recycled enough steel from old cars in 1999 to produce more than 13 million new vehicles-a 91 percent recycling rate.
``In addition to the scrapped vehicle recycling, the parts remanufacturing industry also recycles more than $37 billion in parts each year through rebuilding and remanufacturing,'' Mr. Hampshire said. That includes components such as oil, batteries, filters, coolants and parts recycled throughout the vehicle's life.
The Filter Manufacturers Council, a MEMA product group, said one in two used oil filters in the U.S. was recycled in 1999. And the Scrap Tire management Council reports that 177.5 million scrapped tires annually are ground up and used in such products as playground cover, soil additives or flooring/matting; are burned as an alternative fuel source; or are used in civil engineering projects.
Student techs ready to compete
WASHINGTON-The 102 best high school automotive technicians from each state and the nation's capital will vie for scholarships and prizes June 18 in the national finals of the annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition.
The competition, which takes place in Washington near the Lincoln Memorial, draws more than 6,000 students nationwide, as well as several international teams such as Australia, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico to compete in a parallel competition. Each team attempts to fix one of 55 new Ford vehicles that are deliberately and identically bugged.
``Today's automobile is an extremely sensitive, sophisticated piece of equipment,'' said James Dunst, Auto Skills contest manager. ``The students participating in this contest will help these cars last longer, run cleaner and get better fuel efficiency.''
Each student participating in the national finals has been offered a full two-year scholarship to any of 61 Ford ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) programs. Program participants can earn a two-year associate degree in automotive technology as well as have an opportunity to ``earn as they learn'' while working at Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealerships.
Noting the current ``tremendous shortage'' of trained automotive technicians nationwide and around the world, Mr. Dunst said the Auto Skills program ``is designed to encourage young people to enter this field as their career.''