Just as the Cash for Clunkers program is dumping hundreds of thousands of vehicles on auto recyclers, the “new” GM announced they are not obligated to honor industry-wide recycling measures to capture mercury from old auto switches. Environmental groups demand that GM fulfill its responsibility. “GM should not be hiding behind a bankruptcy proceeding as an excuse for not meeting its on-going obligation to fund a vital program for keeping mercury out of the environment,” said Charles Griffith, Director of the Ecology Center’s Clean Car Campaign.
As GM was the largest user of mercury auto switches, state-mandated recycling programs are unable to absorb the cost of recycling GM parts. Compounding the problem, automotive recyclers will no longer receive a bounty from GM to remove the mercury switches from GM cars, increasing the likelihood that the mercury will be dumped into the environment. The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) also expressed their concern that GM is opting out of their commitment. For more information, see MPP and Ecology Center’s press release and The End of Life Vehicle Solutions Corporation (ELVS) response to GM’s announcement.