Helping Border Communities Manage Scrap Vehicles

Photo of scrap cars awaiting recycling

Project Brief

The Challenge

Every year, vehicles that reach the end of their useful life end up abandoned or stockpiled at poorly managed scrap yards in communities along the U.S./Mexico border. These vehicles aren’t just eyesores: they can also contain hazardous materials like antifreeze and oil that can harm workers, residents, and the environment. Local governments are often left to deal with these vehicles and the public health, environmental, and financial burdens associated with them.

ERG's Solution

ERG developed a guide to help operators of vehicle dismantling and scrapping facilities manage the hazardous materials found in discarded vehicles. The guide was written in both English and Spanish, using plain language, and included hand-drawn illustrations to communicate how to handle and process key hazardous waste streams, including mercury switches, waste batteries, waste fluids, waste fuels, refrigerants, and lead. The guide is helping communities protect people and the environment in both countries while creating opportunities to recover valuable resources and earn revenues.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency