Full of Scrap: Auto recyclers push to retain home-state shredder feed
Apr 30, 2012 | 07:00 PM
| Lisa Gordon
A trend is quietly emerging among auto recyclers to prevent the largest source of shredder feed from taking an interstate trip.
While auto wreckers want to restrict out-of-state buyers ostensibly to protect motorists by preventing unsafe cars returning to the road, one has to suspect that it also might have something to do with protecting the viability of their businesses.
The $25-billion automotive recycling industry, comprised of some 7,000 operations, is the 16th largest industry in the United States, according to the Automotive Recyclers Association. With auto recyclers accounting for one-third of recycled metal in the United States, a lot of money and jobs could be driven out of town if laws are changed.
Michigan was the first state where auto salvagers lobbied to stall a move that could have flattened their revenue and cost jobs by increasing competition. With 14 hungry shredders in the state, competition for vehicles is fierce and recyclers were determined to protect their interests. After coming under fire from auto recyclers, the Michigan House Transportation Committee in December canceled a hearing on two bills to amend the states salvage statutes to eliminate salvage agents and allow unlicensed bidders from anywhere in the country to purchase vehicles that will be scrapped. ....
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