The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Chrysler Group Demonstrates ‘CARE’ for Environment by Turning Garbage into Car Parts

March 26, 2002

Recycling technology shown for the first time in Chrysler Group's CARE Car II turns garbage into a valuable product while potentially saving the automobile industry $320 million per year. The CARE Car II is the second phase of the Chrysler group's CARE (Concepts for Advanced Recycling and Environmental) Car demonstration program. The goals of the program are to increase the recyclability and recovery of automobiles to about 95 percent by weight and increase the use of recycled materials in pro-duction vehicles. "Automobiles are already one of the most recycled products on the planet, but this technology presents the first real-world solution to recycle the remaining 25 percent of a vehicle that still goes to a landfill," said Bernard Robertson, senior vice president of Engineering Technologies and Regulatory Affairs. Chrysler Group worked with 26 production suppliers and Salt Lake City-based Recovery Plastics Inter-national (RPI), to retrofit two Jeep Grand Cherokees with 54 recycled plastic parts. Chrysler Group was the first automaker to use RPI's proprietary plastic flotation technology to separate the myriad of plastic types found in automotive shredder residue -- which currently goes to landfill -- and use the recovered plastic to manufacture new vehicle parts. The recycled parts meet the same material specifications required for production vehicles and were manufactured by the Chrysler Group's production supply partners. The suppliers used current production molds and processes to produce the parts -- at a lower cost than using virgin plastic. Chrysler Group estimates that the recycled plastic can save $10 to $20 per vehicle. About 95 percent of all automobiles are recycled. However, recycling is generally limited to the 75 percent by weight of the vehicle that is metallic. The remaining 25 percent is currently disposed in landfills.
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