Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s steel and auto industries are supporting and funding a national program designed to remove mercury switches from older end-of-life vehicles before they are processed. The mercury was used in convenience light switches, such as under the hood or in the trunk, and in anti-lock braking systems. The program builds on the successful Switch Out initiative delivered by the national non-profit Clean Air Foundation (CAF).
With the new funding, CAF will expand Switch Out to all provinces and territories in Canada, providing the infrastructure for the collection, removal and management of the switches, along with educational materials to recyclers. The program is supported by Canadian automotive recyclers and dismantlers through their respective associations, the Automotive Recyclers of Canada and the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries.
“This program will ensure that the mercury-containing switches in end-of-life vehicles are properly removed and managed so mercury is captured and prevented from entering the environment,” said Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association. “As of January 1, 2003, the use of mercury switches in new automobiles has been voluntarily and completely phased out.”
Since 2001, Switch Out has engaged 448 auto recyclers to collect more than 160,000 switches nationwide.