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Shredders become a hazardous business

By Greg Pitcher

Vehicle recyclers have been warned to be extra vigilant in protecting themselves against Environment Agency (EA) crackdowns as the shredder residue saga rumbles on.

The EA has put back the date when stricter criteria will fully determine whether waste from vehicle shredders has to go to hazardous waste sites.

As the original November 30 deadline has passed, authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) have to treat vehicles to End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Regulation standards before shredding them.

But sites without full ATF status can continue to use interim pre-shredding depollution procedures until January 31.

This complicated situation could make it difficult for scrap firms receiving vehicles from a number of different places.

The EA is on the lookout for companies disobeying the law so the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) has told its members to be extremely careful.

BMRA director general Neil Marshall said: The EA has only formally approved around one- quarter of ATFs, and there are considerable delays in updating the official website.

It is therefore difficult for companies in the ELV supply chain to objectively assess whether their suppliers are permitted to fully or partially depollute.

We would therefore recommend that sites that receive ELVs should maintain a log of suppliers of partially depolluted vehicles to cover a possible EA audit.

All ATFs are reminded that their sites are currently being targeted as a priority by local Inspectors.

The BMRA is working with the EA to determine an appropriate testing regime for shredder residues.

This work is extremely important because if these residues are declared hazardous, this would have a profound and damaging impact on the industrys economics.

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