The automotive recyclers of Ohio have worked hard in the past few years to shed a bad reputation What was once thought of as eyesores and rat infested waste land is quietly transforming into places where recycling technology has become cutting edge. The Ohio Auto and Truck Recyclers Association is a partnership formed by the more than 800 auto salvage dealers scattered across the state of Ohio. One of the main functions of OATRA is to increase awareness of its members on such things as current Environmental Protection laws, assist in the policing of themselves to ensure that members are taking adequate steps to implement required technologies and to protect the environment that are not cost prohibitive to its members.
In years past, when no one thought anything about abandoning vehicles on the street or hauling them off to landfills, many of the toxic chemicals contained in inoperable vehicles were able to find their way into ground water and air. Today that has radically changed and Ohio junk yards play a major role in making sure the mistakes of the past are not repeated in the future.
There are many types of vehicles that Ohio auto recyclers deal with today, besides the obvious passenger cars and trucks that are rendered inoperable every day, there are also hundreds of commercial vehicles that must be dealt with as well. These can include small tractors, mail carrier vehicles, heavy-duty industrial trucks and everything in between. Just imaging the sheer number of vehicles that have to be dismantled makes it easy to see the value of the role that junk yards in Ohio play in making sure that the environment of the state of Ohio remains pure and enjoyable.
In 1994 alone around 134,000 inoperable vehicles were taken to salvage yards in Ohio. That amounts to 2,599,352 liters of hazardous waste that was kept from contaminating the environment in the state. Some of the hazardous materials are obvious like corrosive brake fluids and Freon from air-conditioning units, however there is one that most do not realize is contained in many late model vehicles. This is one of the most dangerous of all: Mercury. An element that is found in nature but not in an unbound form, Mercury was used in light switches and in the illumination systems for small compartments such as trunks, glove boxes and under hoods. The toxic element was widely used as recently as 2002 when federal laws were enacted to prevent its use in this way. Mercury not recovered safely from these sources is quick to find its way into ground water via rainwater runoff around facilities not removing and safely disposing of these lights. Once Mercury is in the ground water it finds its way to streams and lakes where it is easily assimilated into the food chain of most humans through fish. Mercury is most harmful to small children and pregnant women.
By choosing responsibility owners of junk yards, all across the state of Ohio are providing an excellent service to the community in which they are located.