Sharing A World of Ideas On Recycling
Green parts marketing. International vehicle-processing standards. Worldwide definitions for "auto recycler." End-Of-Life Vehicles (ELVs). The benefits of product reuse. These were some of the major topics discussed at the 2010 International Roundtable on Auto Recycling (IRT).
Held roughly every 18 months, the IRT gives auto recyclers the opportunity to discuss the hottest industry topics, best practices and exchange national information.
"The IRT is an opportunity to hear directly from automotive recyclers around the world - their challenges, successes and initiatives," explained Steve Fletcher, managing director of Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), the event's host association. "What happens elsewhere may happen in your region and it is helpful to meet other recyclers to talk directly about issues and to establish relationships to tackle issues together as they arise."
On September 19, 2010, the fifth IRT (IRT-AutoRecycling.org) convened in Canada. For three days - Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - 120 auto recyclers from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, England and the Netherlands met in Quebec City, Quebec.
Fletcher said the above-mentioned issues were common themes and action items at the IRT. Attendees also discussed how to increase interaction - with the public, government and insurers - and how to keep communication open with each other between IRT events.
"Many global issues are common to all recyclers," said Fletcher. "Countries have developing industries or are developing more stringent policies. We need to learn from one another what works and what doesn't."
Fletcher plans to expand on the topics presented at the IRT during the 2010 ARA convention. He is a speaker at the October 20 - 23 event in Austin, Texas.
"It is ARA's goal to incorporate more global talks to learn from other areas," he said. "My topic is international recycling, with Canada as the emphasis."
Currently, one of the biggest issues for U.S. auto recyclers is salvage acquisition. Fellow colleagues from other nations could help solve this problem. Fletcher said European and Japanese auto recyclers don't face the same problems, as they have established a level of standards and licensing as to who processes vehicles.
The IRT 2010 also included reports from California, Quebec and a new Australian association, plus 11 global statements from all corners of the industry, including shredder residue treatment, ELV management plans and training.
The event kicked off with tours of three of Quebec's most progressive and successful auto recycling facilities: Pieces d'autos Dumont, Inc. (DumontAutos.ca), Lecavalier Auto Parts, Inc. (Lecavalier.com) and LKQ Pintendre Autos, Inc. (Pintendre.com).
The IRT has tentatively scheduled its next meeting for the Netherlands in 2012 and the United States in 2014.
"The event was an enormous success," concluded Fletcher. "It surpassed our expectations for the number of delegates, and the depth of learning and sharing."