Saturn's Next Steps in Closed-Loop Recycling 982101
Saturn Strategy: To manage environmental issues throughout the product lifecycle…from design through post-consumer disposal. In 1993 Saturn began a focused effort to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a U.S. based closed-loop captive recycling program. This study conducted during a 12-month period (February 1993-February 1994) with 17 participating Saturn Retailers nationwide proved that a captive closed-loop process was feasible. During that period front and rear vehicle fascias were returned via the Saturn transportation system to Spring Hill, Tennessee, where they were ground and reused in vehicle wheelliners of the Saturn vehicle. That program was expanded to all Saturn Retailers in 1994 and continues with a high degree of success today.
With the infrastructure to support this effort two other plastic commodities await introduction in the system. The vehicle door panels and quarter panels are alloy plastic in high usage and could be used, however, this valuable alloy should be processed to allow its adaptation to a wide variety of automobile usages from wheel covers to structural supports, etc… With the usages in place and the collection system on-line, the need quickly turns to preparation process of the recycled material.
The authors will share their thoughts and needs in the hope potential processors will fill the gap to provide middle Tennessee with this much needed service.