Remember the wildly popular Cash for Clunkers program? In an effort to get gas guzzlers off the road, car dealers in the state of Colorado have teamed up to do something similar, only this time, it really will mean cleaner air for all.
Supported by the car dealers across the state, the Colorado Clear the Air Foundation launched its own version of "Cash for Clunkers" in which drivers trading in old cars not only get a nice tax deduction, they also help plant trees in communities affected by natural disaster.
The foundation was created in 2007 with the assistance of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) with the goal of improving air quality for Colorado citizens who suffer from asthma or other environment-related breathing disorders. According to retired University of Denver Professor Dr. Don Stedman, a national expert on air quality issues, fewer than 5 percent of all automobiles in the state account for half of all vehicle particulate emissions.
Clear the Air Foundation asks people to donate their cars, especially those made before 1990, for which they receive a tax write-off equal to the value of the car. Unlike other car donation programs, the foundation sells the vehicle to a local auto recycling company, where it is processed for all reusable or recyclable parts, and the engine, shell and frame are crushed, so they can never be used for transportation again. The crushed metal is then shredded and recycled for new uses. Proceeds from the vehicle sales are used to help Coloradans with respiratory conditions and provide scholarships to students in automotive and technology fields.
As a special bonus in celebration of Earth Day, Clear the Air Foundation recently partnered with ReForest Colorado so that for each of the first 250 vehicles discarded by the public, a tree will be planted in areas around the state in need of tree cover. Visit CleartheAirFoundation.org to learn more.
Image via JoePhoto/Flickr