Back in 2005, the UK government unveiled the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) Directive. The primary goal of the legislation was to increase the percentage of each vehicle that is recycled, whilst ensuring all hazardous materials are treated in the appropriate manner – with the wider environment firmly in mind.
The ultimate target for the ELV Directive is to ensure that 95 per cent of each end-of-life vehicle is recovered and recycled. With two million vehicles reaching the end of their life every year, there is no doubting the significance of the challenge ahead. But what part can you play in this?
It is all about getting into good habits. Instead of simply selling your vehicle for scrap at a bog-standard breakers yard why not take it to vehicle recycling specialists that not only dismantle vehicles properly in accordance with ELV Directive, they also seek to recycle and restore used car parts to working order so that they can make a difference in another vehicle.
An important part of the vehicle recycling process is the ‘de-pollution’ of the vehicle, extracting petrol, diesel, brake fluids, engine oil, anti-freeze, batteries, air bags, mercury-bearing components and other catalysts that, when released, can have a harmful impact on the environment.
There have also been many areas that have required improvement in order to meet the growing recycling rate. These include the following:
- Increased plastics recovery through a refined separation process
- Development of applications for recycled plastics
- Increased recovery of fluids
- Enhanced tyre recovery process
- Initiation of additional rubber recovery processes
- Initiation of glass recovery processes
- Development of material recovery processes
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the recycling of metal uses three-quarters (74 per cent) less energy than making new steel.
Scrap metal processing is just one key component of the car scrappage procedure. The de-pollution process can also have a positive impact in additional areas. As it includes the removal of all wheels and tyres, tyre recycling processes the material for new uses such as children’s playgrounds and equestrian training surfaces.
Recycling cars keeps 11 million tons of steel and 800,000 non-ferrous metals out of landfills and back in consumer use. That can only be a good thing for the wider environment and the economy in general.
In the United States cars are now the number-one recycled product and with the United Kingdom following their lead it is an industry that is becoming increasingly ingrained in modern culture, with manufacturers also becoming increasingly involved in the process to help improve efficiencies now and in the coming years.