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Vehicle recycling must increase and improve, finds academic report

A warning that car recycling efforts must be improved has come from university research, which found vehicle scrap will amount to 3.65 billion tonnes by 2030. The Oxford Brookes researchers report Whole Life Vehicle Waste Streams a global perspective, said that more vehicles will be produced in the next 25 years than in the entire history of the motor industry. The findings show the number of vehicles on the worlds roads will increase by 65% to 1.48 billion by 2030 with each vehicle accounting for 1.85 tonnes of waste in its lifetime. The report calls for new technologies, design approaches and better infrastructure to be developed so that vehicles can be disassembled into their most basic components to allow increased recycling and reuse. Currently, around 75% of a motor vehicle is recycled, mainly the metal content. The other 25% that includes the plastics, rubber, glass, fabrics and other materials are often sent to landfill. EU legislation states that by 2015, 95% of a motor vehicle must be recycled at the end of its life, which is another reason why the report calls for new designs for disassembly and enhanced pre-and post-shredder technologies. Professor Allan Hutchinson, from the university, said: How to dispose of vehicles more effectively may not be the most glamorous part of the motor industry, but it may well ultimately be the most important for a sustainable one. Researchers said that this was the first study of its kind to quantify past and future levels of waste generated by the motor industry worldwide and focus on the total amount of waste produced by a vehicle over its whole lifetime.

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