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Car companies increase recycling initiatives

June 10, 2009

Both Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. have announced plans to improve recovery and recycling rates of their end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) in addition to increased use of recycled material in cars.

For Nissan, the company has released 2008 recycling figures on ELVs that show it recovered and recycled 76.7 percent of auto material in Japan. This is more than the requirement of Japan’s Automobile Recycling Law, which set a target of 70 percent recovered by 2015.

In total, Nissan was able to recycle over 100,000 tons of material that went through its auto shredder. The company recovered material from a total of 633,949 vehicles, and the net proceeds of these recycling efforts totaled 44,157,661 yen (almost $462,000 U.S. dollars).

Meanwhile, Honda has focused its efforts on the recycling of individual car parts. The company claims it reuses 84 percent of car materials ranging from bumpers to oil filters, in addition to an external program to recycle the batteries from its Honda Civic Hybrid. It has operated Honda Recycle Parts since 1991, which sells recycled and reused parts to customers in Japan.

While cars are one of the most commonly recycled products in the U.S., much of the glass, plastic, rubber and wiring is landfilled as “fluff” during the process. Both companies are working on ways to improve the auto recycling process, so more materials can be recovered prior to shredding the car.

As part of Nissan’s Green Program, all 2005 and later models have a potential recycling rate of 95 percent. This is also the company’s goal for recovery rate achieved by 2010.

Read the full story, or recycle your own junk car today.

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