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>Remember Cash for Clunkers? About 700,000 cars were sold during the program, all with higher mileage than the traded-in vehicles. Good and green right? Sort of. The United Recyclers Group (URG) is upset that the government has not given as much time, attention and funding to the recycling and remanufacturing of old auto parts as to the glitz and glam of new, higher mileage vehicles. In fact, the URG argues that the back half of the program (the recycling and remanufacturing of auto parts) is much greener than the front half – Michelle Alexander, the Executive Director of the the URG says, “There has been no help at all from the federal government promoting the use of green reusable auto parts. So with no increase in demand, we are simply looking at an increase in our costs, and it isn’t reasonable or fair to auto recyclers.

The deadline for the all the clunkers to be processed and scrapped has been extended but since the program itself was greatly expanded (tripled in size), many more cars are in need of recycling and reprocessing than originally intended. Alexander says, “These vehicles need more time in the system to produce the maximum green benefit for this country and the American consumer. I wonder how many decision makers who supported C4C understand that the really green thing we do is process vehicles and reclaim the green parts for reuse by consumers. This is what separates us from car crushers, who simply shred cars to recycle the metals. Millions of Americans benefit from the green auto parts we put into the marketplace every year. Doesn’t that matter to anyone in Washington?” Good question. I guess it doesn’t matter to politicians who just want the credit for a successful auto stimulus program while not dealing with the less glamorous (but more useful and green) part of the program. As with any good idea, follow through is essential.