Concord, NH – Gov. John Lynch, the Executive Council, and Environmental Services officials today recognized 13 auto recycling yards for becoming New Hampshire’s first certified "Green Yards," a distinction reserved for auto salvage yards that use exemplary environmental work practices. The Department of Environmental Services (DES), working with the NH Auto & Truck Recyclers Association (NHATRA), developed the pilot "Certified NH Green Yard program to improve environmental performance at auto salvage yards and provide incentive for going beyond compliance.
At the Executive Council meeting in Concord, Gov. Lynch, Councilors, and DES Assistant Commissioner Michael Walls, presented the owners of each Certified NH Green Yard with a certificate and Green Yard flag for display at their businesses.
"I am pleased to recognize these New Hampshire companies who are making an extra effort to help protect what’s special about New Hampshire," Gov. Lynch said. "Some components of automobiles pose dangers to our environment. The efforts of these companies are helping to protect the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the land we live on."
"DES is pleased to make these presentations today," Walls said. "These 13 "Certified NH Gree Yards" have made important changes and use best management practices to run environmentally responsible facilities."
The event highlighted the successful partnership between the NHATRA and the DES NH Green Yards Program. Together, they are working with more than 150 auto salvage yards throughout the state to improve environmental practices and to bring them into compliance with exiting state and federal environmental requirements.
According to NHATRA President Jeff Kantor, New Hampshire’s auto salvage yards recycle over 50,000 end-of-life vehicles yearly.
"That’s enough cars to fill both lanes of Interstate 93 from Concord to Littleton," Kantor explained. "Our association is working hard to change the negative view many people have of the auto salvage industry. For example, many people don’t realize that auto recyclers typically recover and recycle, by weight, 85 percent of the material content of a motor vehicle, making automobiles the number one consumer product being recycled today. Now, when you see a Certified NH Green Yard flag at a salvage yard, you will know the owner is helping to take care of New Hampshire’s environment."
For more information and to find out about becoming a Certified NH Green Yard, contact Pamela H. Sprague, NH Green Yard Program Coordinator, by telephone at (603) 271-2938 and visit the DES web site.
The NH Green Yards Program points of interest:
- Approximately 500,000 vehicles in NH are over 9 years old and will soon be recycled. (The average age of a vehicle in a salvage yard is 7 to 10 years.)
- Cars are the #1 recycled product in the United States.
- Approximately 10 million vehicles are recycled annually in the North America.
- At least 95% of all cars scrapped in the US are collected for reuse and recycling.
- The modern automobile contains many other toxic and hazardous components that we depend on the auto recycler to remove and properly recycle or dispose of. These materials include:
- Lead acid batteries,
- Freon, Gasoline / Fuel,
- Motor Oil and other oil, including brake fluid, transmission fluid, etc.,
- Lead parts, such as wheel weights and battery cable ends,
- Air bag cartridges containing the chemical sodium azide (explosive / acutely toxic),
- Mercury containing parts, such as hood and trunk light switches, ABS brake systems, HID headlamps, and backlighting for navigational/entertainment systems.