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seeba Fact Sheet
End of Life Vehicles


In Europe the number of vehicles which become end-of-life each year is estimated to rise to around 12 million by 2015 (in 1997 it was 8 million). The estimated growth rate worldwide in the numbers of vehicles on the road is about sixteen million vehicles per annum, and annual production figures worldwide total around 35 million new vehicles.

Within the EU 17 - 18 million vehicles are sold each year. In Europe cars last on average up to 14 years, after which they become uneconomic to repair and are therefore discarded.

Figures published in 2001 indicated that the number of cars dumped by their owners in Britain had risen from around 100,000 in 1999 to a then current rate of 1 million. 1.5 million vehicles are scrapped in the UK every year.

The growing problem with abandoned vehicles in this country, highlighted by the press particularly in 2001, has raised the level of awareness of the problem of ELVs. The abandoned vehicle problem has arisen chiefly because the price of steel has fallen worldwide making it uneconomic for recyclers to process ELVs unless they charge a fee to those disposing of them. Additional problems involved shortcomings in the powers available to local authorities to deal with abandoned vehicles, although this is now being addressed.

The new EU regime for the mandatory recycling of end-of-life vehicles is based upon EU Directive 2000/53/EC on End-of-Life Vehicles.

Currently on average up to 75% of a vehicles weight is recycled (or recovered via e.g. used parts sales) - although more than 75% of a vehicle is in fact metal, which is the easiest content to recycle successfully - so the targets which have been set are ambitious. The growing use of plastics in vehicles (on average 105 kg per vehicle today as compared with 75 kg per vehicle 20 years ago) means that the challenge to reach current and future targets will be demanding, not least because of difficulties in developing markets for recycled plastics. Recycling of auto glass is another problem.

In particular, there is the problem of auto shredder residue (ASR) - the residual materials left over after the ELV, post-dismantling, is put through the shredder process - which contains a mixture of plastics and rubber, dust, fabrics, wood, glass, and non-ferrous and other materials. In order to meet the EU directive's targets in a cost effective / non cost-prohibitive manner technologies and process will have to be found to successfully separate, recover and recycle components of ASR. Most ASR in Europe is currently sent to landfill; some ASR is incinerated although mainly without energy recovery.

Another particular problem is tyres. The EU Landfill Directive bans tyres being disposed of to landfill (whole tyres from July 2003; shredded tyres from July 2006). Hence alternatives for the recycling and recovery of tyres will have to be found promptly

 

Fact Sheet on Producer Responsibility

Fact Sheet on Land Fill Directive

Fact Sheet on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Fact Sheet on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive

Fact Sheet on the Restriction on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in EEE Directive

Fact Sheet on End-of-life Vehicles

Fact Sheet on End-of-life Vehicles Directive

Fact Sheet on Packaging

Arsenic

Bismuth

Cadmium

Chromium 6

Copper

Lead

Mercury

Zinc

 

 

 

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