We can't live without our cars, but we can make sure they don't pollute our air very much. It's no surprise that older cars pollute more than new ones, but you'd be shocked at how few old cars it takes to hurt Colorado's air... and how replacing old high-emitting cars with new clean cars can make the biggest positive impact of all.
Dr. Stedman developed the RapidScreen technology that's used in the vans we often see on the entrance ramps to highways. A laser beam instantly measures carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.
Today in Colorado, one percent of the cars emit thirty percent of the hydrocarbons of all the other cars that came by today. It is amazing how a few broken cars are emitting a lot of hydrocarbons, and the clean cars are just zero, they're not there, they don't count.
One way to reduce emissions from older cars is to recycle them. Rather than try to sell that smelly old clunker for a few hundred dollars, you can recycle it for about the same price.
Approximately 92 percent of all motor vehicles are recycled and 84 percent of a motor vehicle is recyclable, meaning it stays out of the landfills... the best form of recycling is re-use...The number one consumer product in the world that's recycled are automobiles.
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At Colorado Auto and Parts, old polluting vehicles are stripped of their usable components then fed to the Crusher.
After being smashed in the Crusher, the next stop for many formerly polluting vehicles is a metal recycler like Western Metals.
Western Metals will take cars from auto recyclers or buy cars from the public. They'll remove all the oil, gasoline, fluids, batteries and mercury switches, and then feed the cars into the shredder.
At that point ferrous material, shredder scrap, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel are removed and separated from the waste material.
The recycled materials are sold to steel mills and foundries in the United States and around the world, where they're turned into structural iron, rebar and even components for new cars.
New car dealers can also help remove polluting older cars from Colorado roads.
One of the ways we're able to help as dealers is we take cars that are traded in and instead of sending them to the auction like we normally would, we send them to recycler that will strip the car of parts and crush the car and that takes it out of the vehicle fleet forever, never to pollute again.
Of course the ideal solution to automotive air pollution is to replace the old, high-emissions vehicles with newer ones.
A new vehicle is over 100 times cleaner than cars produced twenty, twenty-five years ago. So the real key is to get those older vehicles off the road. ... We can have 100 cars driving out on the road that are new cars and they pollute less than that one old car.
If you can't afford a new car, the best thing you can do to clean up the air is take care of your car.
One of the major things that we've learned is what matters most is maintenance. New cars have no emissions. If you look after them properly, they can be 10 or 20 years old and still have no emissions.