|Recycler Viewpoint: International Roundtable on Auto Recycling|
|News - Recycling|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 14:47|
By Dave Schandor, Marshall Auto Wrecking
Lethbridge, Alberta -- July 11, 2012 -- I was absolutely thrilled to be presented with the opportunity to attend the IRT conference in Liverpool, as I had never attended one before. Because of this, I really didn’t know what to expect; but I was determined to absorb everything possible, gather information and return with beneficial knowledge for improving our recycling business. Just as I had expected, the conference did not disappoint. The conference material, variety of presentations, trade show and seminars exceeded my expectations.
We started with a tour of the JCB factory on Thursday. Aside from the long bus ride to and from the plant, it was well worth it. The tour was well organized. It was presented with an introductory film on the company's history and an equipment demo followed by a fantastic lunch. Finally, it was concluded with a tour of the incredible museum, which documented the entire history of the JCB empire. After the museum, there was a gift shop and even a gift package for all of the attendees. The JCB staff was great!
Thursday evening was spent networking over dinner with a great group of Canadian delegates at a restaurant in the Albert Dock complex. We would all like to thank Trevor from Wholesale Auto Parts for covering the tab.
On Friday morning, we travelled by bus to Hill's Salvage and Recycling, the site of the IRT conference and the CARS trade show. Because we got there early, many of the exhibitors were still in the process of setting up their booths and displays. Having the conference at this type of venue was a great idea since it gave everyone enough room to spread out. It also attracted a large crowd, as well as an impressive amount of vendors. The presentations from various countries were very interesting. Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Japan and The US were all well displayed and presented the highlights and in some cases “lowlights” of the auto recycling industry in their respective countries.
Of all the reports heard, I was surprised to learn that Canada was considered a role model for most countries, especially in regards to environmental controls within the industry. The report from India somewhat shocked me, since it was an industry that is being plagued by corruption and criminal activity. The Japanese presentation was a bit of a tearjerker, as they presented a film of the devastating tsunami and the incredible recovery efforts of the entire nation. It also showed the critical role that the recycling industry played in this incredible effort. There seemed to be many common issues and concerns shared by all the countries in attendance, but the one that I felt was most relevant to the Canadian industry was the education of governments and applying the importance of environmental issues upon them through the proper handling of end of life vehicles.
Other interesting topics covered at the conference were the handling of ELV electric cars and the Canadian Automotive Recycler's Environmental Code (CAREC), as well as a variety of issues open for discussion. I also took the time to attend several seminars which interested me, as well as touring through every trade booth at least twice.
On Saturday morning I had the pleasure of taking a private tour of the Hill's Brothers complex, which allowed me to walk through the entire complex and play with their operating system.
This was indeed one of the most impressive auto recycling facilities I have ever seen, and I certainly took home some great ideas from their operation that I hope to implement in our own business.
Throughout the entire weekend, I managed to do a considerable amount of networking with delegates from all over the world and I strongly believe that I represented our country well and learned very much. The IRT conference was a valuable and memorable experience and I would definitely encourage anyone to go.
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