Retire Your Ride proves to be a breath of fresh air

Canada's National Vehicle Recycling Program encourages Canadians to choose more sustainable forms of transportation

TORONTO, March 29, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - According to new research, one in five participants of Canada's Retire Your Ride program will not replace their retired car with another vehicle. Instead, they plan to use more sustainable transportation alternatives, such as taking public transit, carpooling or riding a bicycle.

"The goal of Retire Your Ride is to improve air quality by rewarding Canadians for retiring their older, higher polluting vehicles," said Carla Kearns, national program director at Summerhill Impact (formerly Clean Air Foundation), who is the national delivery agent for Retire Your Ride. "We are extremely proud that the program is also encouraging Canadians to change their transportation behaviour and choose more sustainable options."

The study of 1,000 Retire Your Ride participants, which was conducted in January, revealed that more than half of participants said the program encouraged them to get rid of their vehicle earlier than planned. Additionally, of the one in five participants that decided not to replace their vehicles:

- 46 per cent will take public transit

- 35 per cent will use another household vehicle

- 24 per cent will bicycle

- 11 per cent will carpool

- 11 per cent will walk more often

Of the participants who will replace their vehicle with another car, 70 per cent said they will purchase a vehicle of model year 2004 or newer. As vehicles 1995 and older emit 19 times more smog-forming emissions than 2004 and newer vehicles, this will significantly reduce smog-forming emissions.

"Retire Your Ride is encouraging people to take action and help improve the air quality in Canada," said Kearns. "The program appeals not only to Canadians' environmental conscience, but provides economic benefit as well."

According to the same study, 73 per cent of participants retired their car due to economic or environmental reasons. Regardless of the reason for participation, in the first year, Retire Your Ride has exceeded the objectives set out by Summerhill Impact and the Government of Canada. Retire Your Ride is successfully engaging Canadians to participate and is rewarding them for their environmentally conscious efforts.

As of March 2010, more than 56,000 vehicles have been responsibly recycled through the program, with 11,200 applications pending, reducing smog-forming emissions by 2,500 tonnes.

The Government of Canada has committed up to $92 million to the Retire Your Ride program to help Canadians recycle their older, higher polluting vehicles and to encourage them to shift to sustainable transportation choices, leading to reduced air pollution. The program, which runs until March 31, 2011, offers participants incentives such as transit passes, car sharing program discounts, $300 cash, or a manufacturer supported rebate on the purchase of a new vehicle.

The Retire Your Ride network of delivery partners includes the following: Scrap-it in British Columbia; Climate Change Central in Alberta; Saskatchewan Environmental Society in Saskatchewan; Manitoba Lung Association in Manitoba; Summerhill Impact in Ontario, Association Québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA) in Quebec; the New Brunswick Lung Association in New Brunswick; the Prince Edward Island Lung Association (in collaboration with New Brunswick Lung Association) in Prince Edward Island; Clean Nova Scotia in Nova Scotia; Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association in Newfoundland and Labrador.

About Retire Your Ride - retireyourride.ca

Retire Your Ride is a national program designed to effectively and efficiently retire 1995 model year or older vehicles in an environmentally responsible manner, in an effort to improve air quality and encourage the use of sustainable transportation. The Retire Your Ride program is delivered nationally by Summerhill Impact, funded by the Government of Canada and supported by a network of experienced regional delivery agents across the country, as well as a national network of automotive recyclers.