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 DETROIT, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's three domestic automakers will open a joint research center in the Detroit area to develop automotive recycling technology.
 The Big Three's first joint research facility, the recycling center will be located in an existing 63,000-square-foot building in Chrysler's Highland Park complex and be fully operational by yearend.
 The program has a first-year operating budget of more than $1 million, including cash, personnel and in-kind contributions from the three automakers. When fully operational, the center will have up to 10 employees on site and involve more than 50 research scientists and engineers on a part-time basis from the three companies.
 The automakers plan to dismantle up to 500 vehicles per year as part of the research project. Parts and recyclable materials from the dismantling operation will be sold at auction. Auction proceeds, expected to reach $500,000 annually, will be reinvested in the recycling program.
 The initial focus of the center's research activities will be on recyclability of bumpers, instrument panels, seats and interior trim.
 The Vehicle Recycling Development Center will be managed by the Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP), a consortium formed in October 1991 by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors to identify and pursue opportunities for joint R&D in the recycling, re-use and disposal of vehicles and automotive components.
 Through the center, automakers plan to develop design guidelines to enhance future vehicle recyclability; promote the increased use of recyclable and recycled materials in vehicle design; and bring together government, university and industry groups to share information and demonstrate state-of-the-art recycling know-how.
 "We're elated that the center is opening," said Irv Poston, manager of polymer composites at General Motors and chairman of the VRP's management committee. "It is a terrific opportunity for the Big Three to encourage the volume collection and recycling of vehicles by demonstrating the efficient dismantling of materials and components.
 "The center also will serve as a resource for design engineers who want to learn more about designing recyclable vehicles."
 Approximately 94 percent of the nation's cars and trucks currently are returned to dismantling-and-shredding facilities. Of that total, 75 percent of the vehicle content is recycled. The U.S. boasts an extensive network of more than 180 shredders and 12,000 automotive recyclers. Last year, U.S. shredding operations recovered more than 11 million tons of steel and other ferrous metals and 800,000 tons of non-ferrous metals.
 Two trade associations have agreed to participate in the joint research effort. The VRP recently signed a collaborative agreement with the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) to study issues of common concern in the area of vehicle dismantling. The ARA will be a partner in research conducted at the center along with the Automotive Committee of the American Plastics Council (APC).
 "We're very pleased to be part of this cooperative effort," said Don Beagell, president of the ARA. "We feel the center's research will advance the goals of each of our organizations."
 Each of the three automakers will contribute one or two individuals to the center's staff. In addition, two or three full-time automotive recyclers will be on site representing the ARA. Beyond its permanent staff, a number of technical experts from the Big Three will be active on specific research projects at the center.
 The Big Three's recycling partnership also has a collaborative agreement with the American Plastics Council. Signed in 1992, the agreement calls for joint efforts to develop technology to recover and recycle plastics from scrapped vehicles. The APC's Automotive Committee is a joint initiative with The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI), and represents 25 resin producers.
 SPI is a trade organization of more than 2,200 members representing all segments of the plastics industry in the United States. The Automotive Recyclers Association, founded in 1943, is an international trade association directly representing over 2,000 professional automotive recyclers in 15 countries worldwide.
 The VRP is part of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), an umbrella organization created in 1992 to facilitate, monitor and promote the growing number of precompetitive, cooperative research- and-development programs among the Big Three.
 -0- 9/1/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For interviews or further information:
 Public Relations Contact Interview Candidates
 Mary Roznowski Irv Poston
 General Motors Corporation Manager
 313-986-5717 Polymer Composites
 General Motors Corporation
 Chris Preuss Susan Yester
 Chrysler Corporation Executive, Recycling Program
 313-576-8095 Chrysler Corporation
 Pam Kueber Sandy Labana
 Ford Motor Company Manager, Polymer Science Dept.
 313-337-2456 Research Staff
 Ford Motor Company
 William Steinkuller Donald Beagell
 Executive Vice President President
 Automotive Recyclers Association Automotive Recyclers Association
 Marv Gellman Al Maten
 American Plastics Council Director, Automotive Committee
 914-354-3346 American Plastics Council
 Bailey Condrey Jerry Fosnaugh
 American Plastics Council Chairman, Automotive Committee
 202-371-5325 American Plastics Council
 Larry Weis Don Walkowicz
 USCAR Executive Director
 313-248-4298 USCAR/
 (C F GM)

CO: USCAR; General Motors Corporation; Chrysler Corporation;
 Ford Motor Company; Vehicle Recycling Partnership ST: Michigan IN: AUT ENV SU:

SM -- DE003 -- 7870 09/01/93 10:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 1, 1993

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