FIGURE 1

Recyclable vehicle process.

cling rate for metallic vehicle components but a low recycling rate for the nonmetallic materials.

In considering this issue, it is useful to begin by looking at current practices (see Figure 1). The first link in the recycle chain is the dismantler, who sells parts from vehicles either directly to customers or to remanufacturers. Some of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are directly involved in remanufacturing. For example, GM recovers engines from dismantlers to produce remanufactured parts for out-of-production engines, and other (non-OEM) companies are involved in the remanufacturing of a variety of automotive parts. Most dismantlers allow the hulk to remain on their property to allow "chrome pickers" to remove and purchase miscellaneous parts. After some period of time, based on demand and space, the dismantler sells the hulk to a shredder. There the metallic materials (iron, aluminum, copper, etc.) are separated by magnetic and other methods, leaving behind a mixture of plastics (30 percent), glass (20 percent), rubber (15 percent), and dirt (25 percent). Each car that is shredded yields an average of 600 pounds of this residue, called fluff. Virtually all the fluff is currently being landfilled (in the United States, and elsewhere). Fluff is only a small part of total municipal solid waste. In the United States, 4.4 pounds of waste are buried each day for every person in the country: one ounce of this dally waste is automotive



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