Printer Friendly

INCREASE IN 'FLUFF' A THREAT; ARTHUR D. LITTLE STUDY SAYS NORTH AMERICAN SCRAPPED AUTO RECYCLING ECONOMICAL, FRIENDLY

INCREASE IN 'FLUFF' A THREAT; ARTHUR D. LITTLE STUDY SAYS NORTH AMERICAN
 SCRAPPED AUTO RECYCLING ECONOMICAL, FRIENDLY
 DETROIT, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The existing technology and infrastructure for shredding junked automobiles in the United States and Canada provides for major environmental and cost benefits to both the automobile and steel industries, according to a new study by Arthur D. Little, Center for Environmental Assurance.
 The study adds that the continued viability of the automotive recycling industry depends on maintaining a relatively high content of metals that are easily and economically recycled.
 The study, entitled "Recycling State-of-the-Art for Scrapped Automobiles," was cited today by Sydney H. Melbourne, chairman of the Environmental Panel, Automotive Applications Committee of American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Melbourne spoke at a media briefing at Cobo Center sponsored by AISI which is participating in the 1992 SAE International Congress and Exposition. AISI commissioned the study.
 "This infrastructure is environmentally friendly and a reasonably profitable way to dispose of scrapped vehicles. Metals recovered in the process lead to savings in raw materials, energy and processing costs," he said.
 This infrastructure, which is already in place, is a network of 182 shredders in the United States and another 22 in Canada, with a combined capacity of 14 million tons of recyclable materials per year.
 "The ferrous metals, steel and cast iron, are easily separated magnetically from the other shredded auto materials, and they are the only materials that can be used directly as feedstock for making new steel. It could be said that one third of the steel going into today's cars is recycled steel.
 Shredded steel is considered a relatively high-value commodity by the scrap-based industry, which produces high-quality, reusable steel for less than five cents per pound," he said.
 Melbourne points out that when using steel, there is no need for "design for disassembly" or "design for recycling." The existing shredder network is extremely efficient in giving steel the ability to recycle now without having to wait for a new recycling system.
 Melbourne noted that regulations create conflict. For example, CAFE encourages the use of light-weight materials, such as plastics, while, on the other hand, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), encourages the use of a single, easily recyclable material, such as steel.
 The study also says that the solid waste described as "fluff" generated in the shredding process creates negative environmental impacts. These include premature filling of landfills, increased disposal costs and creation of potentially hazardous wastes.
 The study finds that:
 -- Average fluff content per scrapped auto was 547 pounds. In 1989, shredding operations in North America generated 2.4 million tons of fluff which could not be recycled.
 -- Fluff is considered to be hazardous in California. Massachusetts and Rhode Island require testing of fluff for hazardous content.
 -- In Canada, fluff is considered hazardous only in Quebec.
 "An increase in fluff volume for disposal results in higher operating costs. When the volume of recyclable steel is lowered, the auto shredders' gross margin is reduced. These cost pressures could result in some shredders closing their operations, creating both economic and environmental impacts," he said.
 These impacts include:
 -- Fewer appliances would be shredded, leading to problems with their disposal.
 -- Junked auto hulks would have to be transported over longer distances, which may not be economically viable, and would result in an increase of junked autos scattered over the landscape, impacting the environment.
 -- Transportation hauling distances for scrap would also increase, raising the price of shredded automotive scrap and lowering the incentive to use it.
 In addition, Melbourne reported that:
 -- Autos are on the road now for about 10 years and approaching 11 years before being junked.
 -- More than 8 million vehicles are scrapped per year, resulting in the recovery of 10 million tons of high-quality steel, reusable by iron and steel product manufacturers.
 -- More than 90 percent of the scrapped autos in the United States and Canada are cannibalized for reusable parts, crushed and shredded for recovery of recyclable metals.
 -- Expansion of shredding operations has led to an increase in ferrous scrap from 5.1 million tons in 1975, to 10.7 million tons in 1989. Domestic consumption of recycled steel has grown from 2.7 million to 6.8 million tons over the same period. Export of ferrous scrap rose from 2.4 million tons to 3.9 million tons.
 -- Existing shredding network provides environmentally friendly disposal.
 The AAC, representing 10 North American steel companies, commissioned the research for the Arthur D. Little study.
 The study analyzes both threats and opportunities for steelmakers as represented by trends in the usage of automotive materials and their impact on the recycling industry and the environment. Among topics in the 120-page report are:
 -- Automotive Usage, Lifetime and Scrappage
 -- Material Usage Trends
 -- Trends in Automotive Recycling Technology
 -- Regulatory Issues and Pressures
 -- Recycling and Life Cycle Costs
 AISI is a nonprofit association of the iron and steel industry. Its purpose is to engage in activities of common interest to its members. These pursuits include cooperative ventures that would not ordinarily be undertaken by individual members and which are of general concern to all. AISI was incorporated in 1908 and has members in the United States, Canada and Latin America.
 -0- 2/24/92
 /CONTACT: Jim O'Toole or Victor Pytko, both of PR Associates, 313-963-3396, for AISI/ CO: American Iron and Steel Institute ST: Michigan IN: MNG AUT SU:


AL -- DE033 -- 1917 02/24/92 12:53 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 24, 1992
Words:905
Previous Article:STEEL INDUSTRY READY FOR UPTURN WITH BETTER PROCESSES, PRODUCTS
Next Article:PIONEER HI-BRED PRESIDENT RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL
Topics:


Related Articles
MVMA PRESIDENT COMMENTS ON PROPOSED NEW GOVERNMENT RESEARCH PROJECT ON AUTOMOTIVE RECYCLING
U.S. AUTOMAKERS RESEARCH VEHICLE RECYCLING ISSUES
BIG THREE AND ISRI SIGN RESEARCH AGREEMENT
AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION: WHAT'S THE MOST RECYCLED PRODUCT IN THE U.S.?
Editorial.
Auto Recyclers Represented at International Trade Show in Germany.
Weight watchers: scrap recyclers watch closely as automakers choose between steel, aluminum and other materials in their quest to build light weight...
Marginal improvement: shredder operators have seen their margins improve in the last year, though they would welcome additional material. (2003...
Due south: scrap recyclers follow the shifting geographic center of the U.S. manufacturing economy.
Waste regulators target scrap recyclers.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters