Automobiles Filling Up Junk Yards and Landfills
We see run-out, decaying, junky cars in front yards, in fields, tow yards, auto auctions back yards, junk yards and dump areas set aside for this purpose. Hawaii, the Big Island we saw areas where the cars were just piled up. Well on an island it is a big problem because as population expands so do the cars and if people buy new cars what junkyards near me about all the old ones? Well they just pile up and then what do you do? It costs money to ship cars off the island, so you trade in your old car and let the dealership deal with it, but he doesn’t want it either.
We have seen in front yards of mobile homes years of junked cars rusting away in GA, AL, LA, MS, SC. We are talking total junk, not just undrivable but neighborhood rodents and varmints living in them. I can remember as a kid the local cities would have junk days where they would go tot he canyons and hit the streets to pickup abandoned vehicles and take them to a metal recycler or crusher. CA had a CRV-California Redemption value so you could get money for the metal in aluminum cans, old cars or plastic containers. Each year in this country vehicles are recycled, crushed, sent to the middle east in containers and of course recently in the last six years we have had a big push to donate to a church or synagogue or non-profit. Good idea, I can remember making money for one non-profit group allowing people to smash a baseball bat for $1.00 per hit, with a guaranteed uncorked bat. But suspension if you hit the safety glass. Later when OSHA standards came out as Senior Class President of the HS we started wearing goggles when we allowed the people to smash the car. Then a friend whose dad owned a tow company took it to Pick-Your-Part Junk Yard in the Valley, today totally wired with every make and model and part listed on the Internet and most hard to find stuff on eBay and all the junk yards are all interconnected on a trunk repeater Motorola Radio System. The junk yard business has really progressed over the years.
America has a love for the automobile and many of the old cars are fixed up. About a decade ago you may recall a program where oil companies in some states could buy old cars and get them off the streets and trade for pollution credits, of which El Paso and Enron both enjoyed trading. Enron traded everything from Lumber futures and pollution to energy and just about anything consumable that the Boys in Chicago had not yet created the market for. If it is not bolted to the floor and contracts were drawn for future use, you can bet it was on the potential list to be traded. Bandwidth, oil pipeline capacity, water you name it. Commoditizing the world has advantages and this is one way to control the junk and costs associated. This has always been a free enterprise theme to reduce pollution here in the US.
In the European Union 7.3 million cars per year are ELV’ed or ELV Treated, although there are 11 million total sent to the graveyard, furnace, junk yard or recycle crushers, but first plastics and other items are taken apart. In the US we just crush the crap out of them and deal with the entire pancake. Let’s face it this is a good start. Problem is that each Country in the EU has different guidlines, these countries can never make up their mind. For instance the debt borrowing of the Euro in Germany and France and the rest of the countries having to pay later for the hamburger today.
In the US we have the United States, although often act like the United Countries although we are not much better as in almost every industry we have a different set of laws. Even smaller states with little population bases have conflicting laws, states such as VT, ID, WY, MT, NM, NH, RI, WV, IA, NE, ND, SD. States like CA, OR, WA, MA act like socialist countries and obvious are paying for it now. Beware the socialists in their goal to make all things equal, they can ruin anything, ask Plato. The problem being making non-linear decisions for the best of the country is nearly impossible, for us to come to terms of our leadership role in the Americas we have a lot to be desired on many a front.
We can do better than this, but we fight over the means, why? There can be no excuse. No wonder we cannot come up with solutions to issues like the junked vehicles, which leak all kinds of things when they rot in fields and bleed iron oxides, heavy metals asbestos, and oil, fuel (turns to varnish), brake fluids, radiator fluids and obviously leach into the ground water pf the local farm and cause all kinds of cancers and problems with kidneys. There are issues. But also we see old farm implements and other equipment junked out back. You can see this on every back highway in America and every small town serviced or within 100 miles of a Wal-Mart. In other words every where in every small town. Starting in January of 2007 all European Cars sold will be the responsibility of the manufacturer no matter how long the vehicle is in service.
If a new Ford Mini-van is in a crash after only 2 months on the road it will be the Ford’s responsibility. If it is on the road for 40 years and then junked it will be Ford’s problem. Sounds a bit of a problem to me like our under funded pensions in this country of which the Big three are probably a good example of a serious problem with blue chip companies. Scary thought. You see as countries become more socialist the consumer will not be responsible for anything.
Right now 75% of vehicles in the EU are ELV’ed they wish to increase this to 85% by 2006 a noble cause. 95% by 2015. But we know this is absolutely the wrong way to do this after all the State of CA set and dictated a timeline for electric vehicles and that did not work, today in the Business News GM announced it was completely cutting the plug on all electric vehicles for the newer technology of Fuel Cell. And pursuing the Fuel Cell development project with UPD. Meanwhile with all the EPA deadlines un-met and all the passed costs to businesses by light, Medium and Heavy duty truck manufacturers, FedEx’s Fred Smith put out a challenge that he wanted 50% more fuel efficient units with 90% less emissions. Apparently these do-gooders do not understand entrepreneurship otherwise they would be solving the world’s problems by creating not accusing.
Renault adopted a plan on their own called LEM-Life-Cycle Management and found 13 key vendors to achieve this, a much better and well organized plan this was back in 1999. They made all components recyclable, well 90% including the plastics and other materials for their top selling cars; Laguna II, Mid Size Panel Vans (you have seen them in cops and robber movies in France chasing James Bond), Clio II and the Val Satis. Excellent achievement for the French Car Company. Similar to the 90% of their recycled story about the Oil for Arms Program with Iraq. Did I say Arms, no no FOOD, we we Food, yes food, silly me. Other ideas of the ELV program is to use easy to dis-assemble parts, like what Dell is doing with computer trade-ins, yes Michael is always leading edge, he deserves an award.
You see when you take apart computers especially old ones they have gold plated components on the circuit boards and connections. Dell only charges $15.00 to recycle and they get at least $8-22 in gold out of each one. Once apart they can be 67% recycled. The EU wants certain things to no longer be used in the manufacturing of cars, such as mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadium and lead. Most US Manufacturers have already done this completely and the rest will soon be completed. Smaller companies such as MG Rover which use to produce millions of cars now only sells 200,000 per year in the UK, the UK likes the idea and are up with the compliance anyway seeing as they agree since they are on an island. But you can always drive the cars to Europe in the Chunnel and they do not want the reciprocate, the UK says we are not a junk yard.