Centennial, Colorado – A “tsunami of steel” has hit the auto recycling industry because of the U.S. Cash for Clunkers program, resulting in a number of unanticipated problems, according to the United Recyclers Group (URG).

The group said that the federal government is not doing enough to help promote the “green” aspects of the auto salvage industry and encourage the use of environmentally-friendly “green” auto parts.

“Cash for Clunkers (C4C) created some much-needed green awareness for consumers and momentum within the auto industry,” said Michelle Alexander, executive director of URG. “But a big opportunity was missed by the federal government when they all but abandoned C4C once the front end of the program involving the new-car manufacturers and dealers was completed. The back half of the program is far greener than the front half, and yet the ball has been dropped when it comes to promoting the truly green aspects of C4C.”

With 690,000 cars sold during the program’s brief run, and an equal number traded in and scrapped, a surplus has hit the recycling industry, while a number of unexpected delays by the government and a shortened run time for the program meant less processing time for recyclers. URG said that there are still serious issues, despite a recent announcement of a 90-day extension to the 180-day deadline for processing all of the scrapped C4C vehicles.

Alexander said that recyclers need at least a full year to “do this job right,” with many member companies facing a one- to two-year inventory of automobiles waiting to be processed and with no help from the federal government in promoting the use of “green” reusable auto parts.

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