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The State of California Auto Dismantlers Association
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GENERAL INFORMATION ON SCADA AND THE VEHICLE RECYCLING INDUSTRY

Licensed auto dismantlers provide an essential service that directly addresses society’s ever increasing problem of what to do with end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). An estimated 1.3 million vehicles will reach the end of their useful lives this year in California, either by determination of their owners or by being declared a total loss by an insurance company. While those vehicles might otherwise end up on the roadside or abandoned in empty lots, licensed dismantlers acquire them and safely convert them into reusable/recycled commodities. Component parts are tested and examined to determine which can be reused or recycled. Fluids are extracted and properly recycled. The reusable parts are removed, cleaned, catalogued and stored. They are then sold to repair other cars at a savings of up to 80% over the cost of new parts. Recyclable materials are sent to a processor, and manufactured into new products. There are about 1,400 dismantlers licensed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The State of California Auto Dismantlers Association (SCADA) is the statewide trade association of licensed dismantlers, with about 200 members throughout the state. SCADA members strongly believe in and support responsible recycling and environmental protection. They ensure the proper handling and disposal of all automotive-related hazardous materials, including gasoline, oil, Freon, antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, batteries, and tires.

In 2001, SCADA adopted the mandatory “Partners in the Solution” program to provide recognition that participating facilities meet specified business and licensing, environmental, and safety standards. This proactive, industry-led approach motivates facility operators to achieve a high level of performance, and assists them in complying with a complicated array of business, environmental, and safety regulations. Other issues that SCADA continues to address on behalf of the dismantling industry include:

  • The cost of doing business (insurance, permit fees, cost of salvage)
  • Unfair competition (unlicensed or illegal operators have the same access to salvaged vehicles as those who comply)
  • Poor or nonexistent public image (many people do not even know that such an industry exists, and there are others who believe they are all “junkyards”).

For additional information, please feel free to contact SCADA Executive Director Martha Cowell at (916) 979-7088.