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ELV processing is a European issue

VIC review
We are all covered by the same rules in Europe but that doesn't mean it's all the same!
One of the presentations at the IRT conference, held earlier in the year was given by EGARA Chairman, Paul Fox and examined the state of ELV recycling now and in 2020. As all the EC states are working off the same hymn sheet, it makes sense for greater conformity in operating procedures. In this first article we look at European ELV recycling now.


For those not aware of EGARA, it is the European Group of Automotive Recycling Associations, an organisation that represents the national trade bodies from many of the individual EC States. In the UK that means the MVDA. The big plus from the ATF’s point of view is that this organisation keeps a close eye on developments at the heart of Europe, where the rules are made. It may seem hard to believe when you look at the legislation stacked up against our industry, but without EGARA’s constant lobbying to inform and educate the law makers as to how our industry works, things could be an awful lot worse.

Back to the presentation. All over Europe, we are all operating in an environmentally friendly manner which means impermeable surfaces with sealed drainage systems released through interceptors, whilst depolluting all fluids, deploying pyrotechnic devices, removing batteries, catalysts, tyres and hazardous materials. Well, according to the law, that’s what should be happening all over Europe.

But as we all know, reality is different. With widely reported estimates of the total number of ELV’s for 2007 estimated at 13,000,000, how come the number actually declared in the 2007 EU Report was only 6,538,535. And let’s face it, the trend hasn’t changed since then.

So where have all the missing ELVs gone? These missing ELVs for just this one year equates to 39,131 tonnes of oil, 73,213 tonnes of fuel, 32,819 tonnes of other fluids, 4,733,625 tonnes of metal and 203,230 tonnes of tyres. The scrap metal alone represents some €500,000,000 in lost revenue to ATF’s!

Articles 5.1 and 5.2 of the Directive require that 100% of ELV’s are collected and transferred to authorised treatment facilities (ATF’s) and deregistration through certificates of destruction is the cornerstone of the system.

Paul Fox’s presentation examined the effectiveness of different collection systems with some countries operating funded and some non-funded systems. EGARA member states operating funded systems generally report that they capture the majority of ELV’s arising in their country with very few complaints of illegal activity and they are likely to meet the 85% target in 2012. Those operating non-funded systems generally report far lower volumes of ELV’s arising than expected with many complaints regarding the numbers of illegal operators. They also report that they are struggling to meet 85% target for 2012.

When looking at the 85% target, the 2007 EU report declared that 38% of EGARA members’ Governments reported compliance and 62% reported shortfalls. In the second part of this article we shall look at Paul fox’s views of what will change beteen now and 2020.

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