Mahindra Accelo managing director Sumit Issar plans to set up an automotive recycling unit in Panvel by March next year; also keen on buying all vehicles at BMC’s auction next month
There’s no excuse for leaving your old and dying vehicle on the road anymore. Nor do you need to wait for the BMC or the traffic department to tow it away.
Throwing his weight behind Operation Khataara — an initiative of Mumbai Mirror and citizens — Sumit Issar, managing director of Mahindra Accelo, a steel processing and automobile recycling wing of Mahindra & Mahindra, says his team will come to your doorstep, pick up your end-of-life vehicle and recycle as many components of it as possible.
Mahindra Accelo, and Centre-owned MSTC Ltd set up an eco-friendly automobile recycling unit — said to be the first of its kind in India — in Delhi-NCR in March this year. Issar plans to establish a similar plant in Panvel by next March.
Excerpts from an interview:
What is the joint venture with MSTC Ltd?
It is a 50:50 venture and the first publicprivate partnership for automobile recycling in the country. It aims at recycling end-of-life vehicles in a clean and environment-friendly way. Our first unit is already up and running in Greater Noida; we have started collecting vehicles in the NCR region. What we are doing is taking as many parts of a car, including steel, and recycling them. More such recycling plants will be set up in Panvel, Chennai, Indore, Kolkata and Bengaluru by March 2019, and 28 other cities within the next two years.
Which parts of a car can be reused and recycled?
There are many. The biggest component of any car is steel — about 70 per cent. For every tonne of steel made in the country, 1,115 kg of iron ore, 625 kg of coal, 53 kg of limestone, 642 kilowatt of energy and 287 litre of oil are used. If you are able to recycle even 1 tonne of steel, imagine the savings on iron ore, coal and power. Our company has been into steel trading and scrapping for long and has working on ensuring sustainable development. Moving forward, we want to recycle steel in a big way.
But what about other parts like battery, oil filters, motor oil, tyres, glass, the engine, the body of the car, plastic components, mats and carpets? Can these be recycled as well?
Going ahead, many parts will get recycled. What happens now is that you have an old car and give it to the next purchaser, who takes out the batteries and put them somewhere else. We give the batteries to authorised recyclers. The idea is to recycle as many parts and components as we can. In the future, we will look at technologies for in-house recycling.
Are you committed to recycling vehicles in an eco-friendly manner?
We will pair environmental consciousness with world-class technology. We have technologies and have also tied up with partners overseas to achieve this end. While others manually take out parts and send out engines to roads in different forms, our recycling process is completely automated. We will also ensure that environmental laws are strictly adhered to.
We are working under the brand name Cero, which is Spanish for zero, and is in line with our ‘zero waste’ policy. Our automated plant has the capacity to recycle old trucks, buses, cars and two/three-wheelers.
How can owners dispose of their dead vehicles?
People can us on our toll-free number 18002676000 or visit www.cerorecycling. com. All they have to do is put up a post about their dead car, and from there, we will take over. We will pay them to take their car, pick it up and get it de-registered from the Regional Transport Office. All they need to ensure that their vehicle has a registration number. We will take care of everything else.
The response from Delhi-NCR region has been tremendous. Over 400 people have been calling each month. This month, we have already got 550 calls.
In Mumbai, we don’t have a site ready as yet. We are looking into the possibility of participating in the BMC auction (on July 15), buying all vehicles in one go and free Mumbai’s roads of dead vehicles.
So, will you participate in the BMC auction?
We are keen on it, but can’t confirm as yet. Our biggest challenge will be figuring out a place to stock these vehicles, if we buy them. We are looking at a site near Kalamboli in Panvel. If we are able to close the deal before the auction, we will participate in it.
What is a long-term solution to the problem of abandoned vehicles?
Automotive recycling is the only way out. In India, there is no policy on it. Vehicles that are over 15 years old are either still on the roads, or are lying abandoned. India imports 6-8 million tonne of scrap a year. Imagine the savings if it starts recycling steel and scrap is available locally.
Maharashtra, especially Mumbai, has another problem: that of green tax. (Private vehicles older than 15 years have to pay a ‘green tax’ under Mumbai Motor Vehicle Tax Act, 1958). Because of this tax, many people don’t bother to deregister their vehicles. A mechanism needs to be put in place that will allow sale of old vehicles without payment of taxes. This will give an impetus to recycling.
How to get rid of your car
Although the project is yet to take of in Mumbai, you can call Cero on toll-free number 18002676000 or visit www.cerorecycling.com