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Thorold Auto Parts hosts international recycling convention

By Cathy Pelletier, special to Postmedia News

Frank Serravalle, owner of Thorold Auto Parts and Recycling hosted auto recyclers from around the globe at his state of the art recycling business. (Cathy Pelletier/Special to Postmedia News)

Frank Serravalle, owner of Thorold Auto Parts and Recycling hosted auto recyclers from around the globe at his state of the art recycling business. (Cathy Pelletier/Special to Postmedia News)

Noted for being environmentally responsible, 42-year-old Frank Serravalle greeted a group of 75 auto recyclers who came from as far as Australia, Japan and Malaysia to tour his 9.2-hectare business property on Wednesday.

Thorold Auto Parts and Recycling (TAP) was chosen to represent Canada as part of an international roundtable of recyclers through Ontario Auto Recyclers Association.

“They chose us because we’re one of the most progressive recyclers in the province,” said Serravalle. “It’s an honour. I’m humbled and honoured that they have chosen me.”

Following in the footsteps of his father Lenny, who founded TAP in 1982, Serravalle took the reins in 2000.

He said his dream was to work with his dad, but it was not to be. While he was finishing his final year in university, his father fell in an accident that left him paralyzed.

“It’s kind of a tragic way to take over. My father did the first 17½ years and I’ve done the second.”

The good news is that the company has “seen great growth” in its 35 years.

Serravalle purchased a $200,000 extraction system from Austria, ensuring that “when the vehicle leaves here, it’s no longer hazardous to the environment.”

“We try to minimize the footprint. Other companies use pails and funnels but this is efficient. The fluids are all contained so they don’t even see the air.”

A machine drills the gas tank and removes the fluid in a single step so there’s no spillage or chance of fire erupting at the Beaverdams Road site.

“We do it voluntarily. We’re trying to get more regulated. We’re constantly trying to take it a step further.”

Every single car part — including the copper wire, aluminum, cast iron, engine block, transmission, fuel, anti-freeze and even the air conditioning freon are disposed of properly.

TAP buys vehicles from insurance companies, the private sector and at auctions, logging each part on the computer and storing it in the proper section.

“The motor gets tested and all the dangerous fluids get disposed of.”

Serravalle maintains high safety standards, he said, because he wants “a good work environment” for his team of employees, which has grown to 50 from 12, and includes specialists in dismantling vehicles, loader operators, mechanics, drivers and office and sales staff.

A new storage facility was recently built to house drive trains, and a new full-service mechanic shop was a logical addition, keeping three licensed auto technicians busy.