Auto vehicles have been on the roads for over 100 years and there has always been a time, especially as they have become more advanced, that they have come to the end of their lives.
Since the year 2000, the process and rules regarding recycling end of life vehicles has changed greatly. As we have become more and more concerned about our environment and our future, so have the governing bodies, whose job it is to think of recycling in the bigger picture. Each year amendments are made to legislation so that our society is moving closer to being a zero waste economy. Everything that can be recycled and used again will be, including vehicles.
The laws of our environment in the UK follows what is set by the EU, who have estimated that using recycled materials, including recycled cars cuts CO2 emissions by 200 million tonnes. Therefore each country is set a target of the amount of waste that must be recycled every year.
Although there has been an Environment Protection Act in place since 1990, it wasn’t until the late 90’s that we really sat up and took notice. In 2000, the End of Life Vehicle Directive was put in place. This meant each vehicle had to go through the process of depollution before it could be scrapped. Any hazardous materials or substances must be drained from the vehicle; such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavent chronium. In this legislation, a target was set, that by 2006, the reuse and recovery of vehicles should be increased by a minimum of 85%. A Certificate of Destruction must also be issued by the Authorised Treatment Facility.
By 2005 the UK had reached this target, whereby 13 million tonnes of metal was recycled and we had become one of the five largest scrap metal exporting countries in the world.
The End of Life Vehicle Directive was amended in 2003. The reuse of waste oils and fluids expanded into not only fuel and motor oil, but also; transmission oil, gearbox oil, hydraulic oil, cooling liquids, antifreeze, brake fluids and air conditioning system fluids. By this point, car manufacturers were also involved in the recycling process. The law stated that Authorised Treatment Facilities were not the only ones to bear the weight of recycling cars in the proper fashion, but the manufacturers were to begin to make cars that were easy to recycle.
By the most recently updated End of Life Vehicle Directive in 2010, there were some amendments that had been missed out. Such as a provision for the treatment of water. And by 2011, there was a strict code and sequence of actions issued to all facilities that dealt with end of life vehicles;
1. Remove Battery
2. Remove Fuel/ Oil Filler Cap
3. Set Heater to Maximum
4. Remove wheels and tyres and separate balance weights
5. Remove any parts containing mercury
6. Drain engine oil and remove oil filter for crushing or disposing
7. Drain transmission oil
8. De-Gas air conditioning unit
9. Drain coolant
10. Drain brake fluid
11. Remove catalyst
12. Drain washer bottle
13. Drain brake/ clutch reservoir
14. Drain power steering reservoir
15. Drain fuel tank
16. Drain shock absorbers
17. Replace drain plugs
18. Deploy airbags
19. Remover airbags
After all these procedures have been processed, the vehicle is then classed as non-hazardous waste and the metal can then be recycled.
There have been many changes made to the way we recycle cars and scrap metal and The Scrappers are one of the best Authorised Treatment Facilities in the UK. Change is constant and we are changing with it. We pride ourselves on being eco-friendly and doing our bit for the environment.