URG Blames US for "Tsunami of Steel"
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"Cash For Clunkers (C4C) created some much needed green awareness for consumers and momentum within the auto industry," Michelle Alexander, executive director of the United Recyclers Group said. "But a big opportunity was missed by the federal government when they all but abandoned C4C once the front end of the program involving the new car manufacturers and dealers was completed."
"The back half of the program is far greener than the front half, and yet the ball has been dropped when it comes to promoting the truly green aspects of C4C. We call on the federal government to change course and help us promote the use of affordable and green auto parts to American consumers."
CARS helped the ailing American manufacturers (and not only) sell no less than 690,000 vehicles in just under two months. An equal number of old, polluting vehicles have been taken off the streets at the same time, causing a "tsunami of steel" hit recyclers, who find they haven't enough time to process all the clunkers.
"URG has requested and continues to fully support a minimum six month extension of the CARS program processing deadline mandated by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). We need at least a full year to do this job right. The recent 90 day extension is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough. Many of our members now have a one to two year inventory of automobiles waiting to be processed," Alexander says.
The main complaint URG has is that the federal government has done nearly nothing to promote the use of green reusable auto parts. As a consequence, recyclers are left with an increasing cost for their operations: more staff, more space, more inventory carrying cost.
"Six months to process the clunkers traded in made sense. But then congress tripled the size of the program, it all came and went in a matter of weeks, instead of months, and then NHTSA finally got around to a small adjustment, less than what anyone in this industry has asked for, of the processing deadline even as they tripled the size of the program," says Greg Wilcox, co-owner of Midway Auto Parts.
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