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Texas Junk Yards: The New Environmentalists

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Texas Junk Yards: The New Environmentalists

Ronnie Tanner
February 27, 2009

Salvage yards in Texas have recently been undergoing a quiet makeover. Sliding silently into the past are the junk yards of yesterday where vehicles of all sorts went to slowly rust into oblivion. Today, salvage yards in Texas, at least, are experiencing an enlightenment of sorts. And they are proud to be on the cutting edge of environmentalism and recycling. As a matter of fact that’s exactly what they are calling themselves. No longer referred to as junk yards those in the great state of Texas are now “automotive recyclers” and are participating in saving some of our countries most precious resources, most notably iron and aluminum.

In days gone by most people never thought twice about what happened to all the automotive oils and corrosive fluids that eventually found their way into the ground water. Once the vehicles that contained them were abandoned and left to rust down these fluids begin infiltrating and polluting these fragile ecosystems. Today all that has changed. Automotive recyclers adhere to some of the strictest waste handling policy in the country. As members of the ARA or Automotive Recyclers Association, the new generation of salvage yards represents an industry dedicated to the safe removal and disposal of hazardous wastes left from inoperable motor vehicles. They are also dedicated to the recycling and reuse of those parts that still have miles and years of service left.

Salvage yards in Texas and around the country have spent over $50 million on environmental compliance. And since 1997 automotive recyclers have recovered enough steel from salvage vehicles to build 13 million new vehicles. The automotive recyclers of Texas make sure they pass that savings on to the general population, as well. Today over 95% of vehicles retired from use are processed for recycling. By dismantling and proper handling of the salvageable parts that are removed from these inoperable vehicles, automotive recyclers can save the consumer up 50% of the cost of buying the same part new.

The weather in Texas also works to help recyclers throughout the state. Because a large portion of Texas is an arid desert like climate, recyclers are able to store more vehicles outside for longer periods of time, thus holding down overheads costs. They in turn are able to pass this savings on to customers.

Automotive recyclers are also interconnected through satellite and internet, often placing their inventory online so that hard to find parts are available to consumers all across the country. By utilizing direct access inventory systems, automotive recyclers are able to quickly and efficiently locate parts for local customers or they can box and ship parts to customers a continent away. This technology allows them to provide quick, efficient and economical service to customers no matter where they may be.

Source: Amazines.com

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