Study spearheaded by Robertson’s Auto Salvage owner finds salvage yards reduce CO2

Nov 21, 2017

Results of a new study spearheaded by the co-owner of Robertson’s Auto Salvage in Wareham revealed there’s more to salvage yards than rows upon rows of junked cars. In Massachusetts, the industry prevents 2.2 million tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere through recycling.

That equates to the annual emissions from 388,516 passenger cars, according to the study. Scott Robertson says the information may change attitudes about salvage yards.

“This industry has always had a negative public perception – the dirty junkyard the polluted junk yard,” said Robertson. “I’ve always known that we’re good guys and good for the environment.”

The study is titled “Assessing the Environmental Impact of Automotive Recyclers of Massachusetts.” Sponsored by the Automotive Recyclers of Massachusetts, it was independently conducted by four Worcester Polytechnic seniors in order to complete their degrees in mechanical engineering.

“What the automotive recyclers are doing is saving materials, saving energy and impacting the environment in a positive way, thus adding value to the economy of the state” said Professor Brajendra Mishra, PhD, director of the Metal Processing Institute at WPI and advisor for the study.

In business since 1970, Robertson’s Auto Salvage process approximately 3,000 cars annually.

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Robertson’s Auto Salvage - Following Bill Gates’ Lead to Succeed

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Scott Robertson Jr., owner of Robertson's Auto Salvage in Wareham, Mass., does not have Gates' name recognition - or his fortune - but the two share a common philosophy about business competition and success.

Robertson’s, a family-owned and operated salvage yard since 1969, has survived and prospered through at least half a dozen recessions, the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, the Clean Water Act, depressed scrap prices and more. Founded by the current owner’s father, uncle and grandfather, Robertson’s is a lesson in staying nimble. “It’s a constant evolution in a salvage yard,” Robertson says. “You have to change with the times to be able to make money.”

Originally established to supply parts to the family’s gas and repair station in Boston, Robertson’s transitioned totally to the salvage business when the oil company reclaimed ownership of the gas station. In the ensuing four and a half decades, Robertson’s has sold repairable wrecks; established, participated in and eventually closed a salvage pool; launched a GMC dealership that continues today and opened and subsequently closed two additional salvage yards.

Through all the changes inside and out, Robertson’s continues to supply repair shops, body shops, insurance companies and other wholesale customers in New England and coast to coast from its tightly packed, 24-acre original location. 

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