Vehicle Scrappage Programs


The Government of Canada is committed to improving air quality across the country and reducing the health and environmental effects of air pollution. Accelerated on-road vehicle scrappage programs are positive steps in the right direction. These voluntary programs are developed and run by local organizations in communities across Canada and supported by partners, including Environment Canada They are designed to improve air quality and to help reduce smog-forming and climate change emissions by permanently removing older, high emitting vehicles from Canadian roads.

On-road vehicles contribute up to 35 per cent of the emissions that are involved in smog formation and up to18.5 percent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions. Between 10 and 15 percent of Canada's fleet are older, pre-1988, or poorly maintained vehicles that generate up to 50 percent of these total emissions.

To be eligible for most scrappage programs, the owner must reside in the area where the scrappage program is operating; the vehicle must be been insured for the past six to twelve months; and must be capable of being driven to a recycling contractor's scrap yard. Owners of 1987 or older model year, who qualify, can choose to scrap their vehicle in exchange for one of the incentives offered by the local program. These incentives may include: transit pass, car-sharing opportunities, rebate toward the purchase of a new or newer vehicle, or rebate toward the purchase of a new bicycle.

Vehicles brought in through these programs are recycled according to environmental guidelines. The guidelines include draining the vehicle's fluids, as well as recycling the tires and batteries before the body is recycled for scrap metal. In addition, some programs involve a mercury switch recovery program. Many vehicles on the road today contain mercury switches in hood and trunk courtesy lighting. Mercury is toxic and can accumulate in the tissue of living organisms. One gram of mercury (about the amount in one vehicle switch) could contaminate 1,000,000 litres of water beyond Health Canada's limit for safe drinking water. Through the switch recovery program, mercury switches are removed prior to scrapping the vehicle. This helps prevents mercury from being released into our environment.

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with stakeholders to improve air quality across the country. Our contribution will ensure that these programs continue to be successful. Currently, Environment Canada is funding on-road vehicle scrappage programs in the various locations across Canada: Vancouver, Fredericton, Ottawa, Montreal, and now Winnipeg, as well as a near province-wide one in Ontario. Environment Canada also funded a program in Calgary in 2002 that was so successful it met its yearly objective within ten weeks.

Environment Canada Funding Vehicle Scrappage Programs

BC Scrap-It program in Vancouver was launched in 1996. The program sponsors for this initiative are: Canadian Petroleum Products Institute Members, Environment Canada, TransLink, West Coast Express, The Jack Bell Foundation, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, B.C. Automobile Dealers Association, AirCare, EnviroTest Canada, the Greater Vancouver Regional District, B.C. Gas Utility Ltd. and participating bicycle retailers. http://www.scrapit.ca

Breathe-Easy Calgary Vehicle Scrappage Program in Calgary has been very successful. In 10 weeks, they have scrapped 600 vehicles, which was their annual target. The program is not currently accepting applications but is presently looking at expansion to other cities in Alberta. 1-403-517-2700

Car Heaven operates throughout most of the province of Ontario and rewards the donor of high polluting vehicles by offering them a free tow (value of $200), a minimum of $60 charitable receipt and a variety of prizes including a 2003 Ford Focus, bicycles and transit passes. http://www.carheaven.ca

Fredericton Vehicle Scrappage Program a voluntary program led by the New Brunswick Lung Association in the Greater Fredericton Area was launched in February 2003. http://www.nb.lung.ca/programs/scrap

Green Mobility Pilot Project led by Friends of the Earth in Ottawa was launched in June 2003. http://www.foecanada.org or (613) 241-0085 ext. 0 or 1-888-385-4444

Faites de l'air! Program led by the Assocation québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique in Montreal was launched in September 2003. 1-888-819-7330

Bye Bye Beaters led by the Manitoba Lung Association launched the Winnipeg Scrappage Program in October 2003. 1-204-774-5501

For further information:

Louise Durocher
Environment Canada
(819) 997-2416