Automakers Accidental Heroes in Recycling Efforts

car recycling, photo: flickr.com/photos/webhamster/

Cars, long the bane of environmentalists, are becoming more earth-friendly. Finally, there is enough of a business case for big car companies to start building electric vehicles, hybrids, and, in the future, fuel cell-powered cars. It looks like the industry might gain some green cred.

What dictates green credibility? A company’s ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle raw materials. The auto industry is actually exceptionally good at these three R’s, and it has been for a while. The Automotive Recyclers Association has been around since the 1940s. According to a report from the group, roughly 86 percent of the material components of U.S. cars are recycled or reused after those cars are off the road.

“I don’t know that there’s an industry that’s in a better place in terms of recyclability than automotive,” says Andrew Wertkin, the chief technology officer at PTC, a technology company that helps clients manage the lifecycles of their products. But the ability to recycle doesn’t give the car industry a gold star in the green department, Wertkin says. Why not? Why is auto recycling not a story that the industry tells all the time?

Read the full Fortune Magazine story.

Photo Credit: Last Stop: The Scrapyard by Webhamster on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

About Nancy Pardo

Nancy Pardo is a Seattle-based writer and editor. She holds an MA in Professional Writing. She began her career as a Washington DC-area reporter, moving on to become an editor and contributor for several top industry magazines in the U.S. and the Middle East. Nancy currently works for PTC as content marketing director and manages the company's award-winning blog Product Lifecycle Stories.
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