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Feature: High standards for recovery

With free take-back of old cars to begin in January 2007, details of the draft End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Regulations have been announced in the Republic of Ireland.

Under the ELV Directive, importers and manufacturers will be obliged to ensure a network of registered sites capable of dismantling their vehicles is in place, and each producer will be expected to have at least one authorised treatment facility (ATF) in every Irish county.

Dick Roche, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, said: “The main effect of these draft regulations will be that when a person has a car or small van that has reached the end of its useful life, there will be at least one facility in their county or city where they can bring the vehicle in the knowledge that it will be depolluted and dismantled to a high standard. The steel, plastic, glass and tyres will be recovered in a way that is not harmful to the environment.”

Consultation on the draft is open until March 24 and the directive is expected to be in place by January 1 2007. The draft regulations set out specific measures in relation to the collection, storage, treatment, dismantling, reuse and recycling of end of life vehicles. Under the directive, each member state is required to:

achieve recovery and recycling targets of 85% reuse/recovery by average weight per vehicle deposited for appropriate treatment, going up to 95% reuse/recovery

ensure that all ELVs are dismantled, treated and recovered by industry at no cost to the final holder/owner of that vehicle
and in a manner that does not cause environmental pollution

minimise the use of specified hazardous substances in vehicles

and introduce systems whereby certificates of destruction are notified to the vehicle registration authorities on the deposit of ELVs by their registered owners at ATFs for appropriate treatment and recovery.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry has written to alert all ATFs to the 85% ELV reuse,
recycle or recovery target which comes into force this year. The target must be met by producers, through their contracts with ATF networks, or ATFs which take in
vehicles not covered by producer contract.

Following consultation with the British Metal
Re-cycling Association (BMRA) and other industry bodies, the DTI has aimed for a straightforward system which assumes that 75% of an ELV is metal and 1% residual fuel, all of which is reused or recycled. Further assumptions for tyres and missing parts, for example, will
be added in the coming months.

However, DTI figures show that achievement is
only around 81% and the BMRA has informed the
department that achieving the 85% target may not be possible “until subsequent years”.

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