End of life vehicle recycling law now in force

January 17, 2007 at 9:49 am

New EU legislation came into force at the beginning of the year to improve the recycling of old vehicles. The End of Life Vehicles (ELVs) directive (2000/53/EC) applies to cars, vans and some three wheeled vehicles, and means that drivers in the EU can now have their old vehicles disposed of for free. Similar legislation already exists for cars built since 2002, but from the start of January all cars can now be returned to their car maker for free recycling.

At the moment about 2 million vehicles are scrapped each year in the UK, and the ELVs directive means that car manufacturers are now responsible for recycling old vehicles. Previously, vehicle owners had to pay scrap merchants to dispose of their cars which meant that cars were often abandoned to avoid these scrapping costs. Now that old vehicles can be disposed of for free fewer and fewer vehicles are likely to be abandoned on the side of the road.

The aim of the directive is not only to improve the recycling rates of old cars, but also to limit the quantity of hazardous materials used in the manufacture of vehicles. By making car producers responsible for recycling old vehicles it is in their own interest to use and develop materials that can be easily recycled of reused. The hope is that over 80% of every old vehicle in the EU will soon be re-cycled or re-used to meet new recycling targets.

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