Success Stories

Automotive Recycling

Waubonsee Community College Automotive Recycling Yields True Growth Opportunities

Waubonsee Community College created the Automotive Recycling course with support of the IGEN Career Pathways Program. This course takes students through the End-of-Life process which includes how these vehicles are acquired, environmental best practices when dismantling vehicles, and finding value in parts and scrap metal.

Waubonsee’s Auto Recycling program was one of the first college courses to instruct students on the proper and most efficient ways to manage End-of-Life vehicles. It has now given auto technology students another option to follow when finding what career will work best for them. When students attend the auto recycling course they will learn what it takes to not only work at an auto recycling facility but they are also challenged to come up with their own ideas for new and improved auto recycling facilities.

Pat O’Connor, an Automotive Recycling Program Coordinator at the college, says the automotive recycling program is a great chance for students to add a green aspect to their automotive degree. “Embrace the opportunities of today to guarantee success for tomorrow. Auto Recycling holds the opportunities that will insure success and help insure a greener environment”, he says.

The auto recycling program was developed from a small introductory course that introduced students to auto recycling. The course has undergone several improvements since the grant course was developed; including the addition of “De-Polluting” equipment, a more detailed and expanded curriculum, and more participation from auto recycling industry advisors.

Student response has gained momentum now that more people are learning the importance of managing old vehicles and the opportunities that are in the auto recycling industry. Many students are in pursuing a degree in Automotive Technology. A good portion has expressed interest in going into the auto recycling industry once they achieve their degree.

“I impress upon my students to think outside the box and consider the opportunities there are for starting their own business in recycling while still using what they learning form their auto technology degree. Some students have taken this idea with them as they move on to complete their Bachelors degree at SIU.” O’Connor says.

The college also received equipment with grant funds. This equipment purchased includes:

  • A “de-polluting” station to safely remove fluids
  • Mobile work tables that catch fluids that result during engine and drivetrain disassembly
  • Mobile support dollies than allow dismantled vehicles to be moved
  • Forklift for moving large parts and parts bins
  • Glass removal tools
  • General tools and tool sets for dismantling

With the increased demand for recycling consumer products there is also an increased demand for new and more efficient ways to manage the recycling process. Waubonsee’s Auto Recycling course is a great start for this ever expanding industry which offers tremendous opportunity for growth and employment.