Mercury switch removal program prevents toxic emissions from recycled vehicles.
Brookfield Resource Management Inc., Elmsford, N.Y., has removed 15,005 mercury switches during the past two years, sending them to the End of Life Vehicle Solutions Corp. (ELVS) for safe mercury recovery.
“The cost to remove a switch from a vehicle is more than we receive in income for the recovered mercury, but this program isn’t about financial results it’s about environment gain,” Tom Malone, president, Brookfield Resource Management, says. “Our company is firmly committed to the environmental benefits of the best management practices we’ve implemented and represented by our participation in the mercury switch recovery program.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and various industry groups, including auto manufacturers, steel makers and recyclers, started the National Switch Recovery Program in August 2006. The program’s goal is to prevent toxic mercury emissions when vehicles are recycled. Mercury-containing devices were used in convenience light applications and anti-lock breaking systems in many vehicles manufactured prior to 2003. The EPA estimates eight tons of mercury per year is emitted from furnaces that melt scrap metal from end-of-life-vehicles.
“Because of the strong and continued commitment and participation from vehicle dismantlers like Brookfield Resource Management, we can significantly reduce the amount of toxic mercury released into the air, water and land,” National Vehicle Mercury Switch Program Manager Judie Napier says. “This is a great way to improve the health of our environment now and for the health of our future generations.”
Brookfield Resource Management Inc., a metro New York recycler headquartered in Elmsford, N.Y., is a privately held company with more than 40 years of experience in the recycling industry.