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[GreenYes] Canadian Auto Workers back EPR
CAW wants recycling jobs; Campaign aims to add reclamation 
to autoworkers' tasks

The Windsor Star, 19 Nov 2002 
Chris Hornsey, Star Staff Reporter 

The Canadian Auto Workers launched a national lobbying effort 
Monday to persuade the federal government to pass laws that 
would ensure all vehicles sold in Canada will also be dismantled 
and recycled here. 

Calling it a way to ensure jobs in the wake of the Autopact's 
demise, as well as an environmentally sound policy, the CAW's 
Windsor Regional Environment Council said the union's 260,000 
members across the country will be pressed into service for a 
massive petition drive designed to sway legislators toward an 
extended producer responsibility (EPR) for automobile 

A successful effort could mean "tens of thousands of jobs" in the 
country, including the potential to double Windsor's automotive 
workforce, said Ken Bondy, president of the Regional 
Environmental Council. 

"This legislation already exists in Europe and Japan," Bondy said. 
"Our auto companies are already working under this legislation in 
these countries. They know all about this issue." 

He said the policy has to be legislated because the auto 
companies won't voluntarily dish out the millions of dollars 
necessary to put EPR into practice. But in the long run it will save 
the companies money, since they won't have to rely on virgin raw 
materials, Bondy said. 

The EPR policy means the auto producer takes back the vehicle
 at the end of its useful life, either directly or through a third party. 
It would encourage companies to design products that are non-
toxic and highly reusable and recyclable. 

Bondy said the policy would reduce the amount of raw materials 
being mined from the earth, as well as reduce the "auto fluff" in 
landfills -- toxic and cumbersome substances from the vehicle 
interiors such as carpeting, seat padding and dashboard 

Bondy said the CAW envisions a vehicle "disassembly plant" 
next to every assembly plant. 

The initial lobbying effort will consist of the petition, mail-in cards 
and encouraging municipal councils to support the idea. The 
CAW hopes to have the petition submitted before the legislature 
takes its summer recess. Local NDP MPs Joe Comartin and 
Brian Masse already support the project, Bondy said. 

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the concept of an automotive 
cradle-to-grave policy. One spectator at Monday's 
announcement was Rob Indig, of BOS Auto Parts of Windsor. 
Indig believes the recycling policy will cost automakers tens of 
millions of dollars to implement and devastate his industry. 


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