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The European ELV Directive (Directive 2000/53/EC) is now over twenty years old, having been introduced in October 2000. Vehicle production and manufacture has undergone significant changes since then, mainly by the increased use of new technologies, materials, components and electronics. This has created new and specific challenges for their recovery and recycling from ELVs. The growing number of electric vehicles on the EU market is already bringing additional challenges to the sector. In light of this, the EU is evaluating to what extent the current legislation on end-of-life vehicles is fit for purpose to deal with and measure these new developments. Don't get left behind...


Are targets being manipulated?

Quoting a recovery rate rather than recycling rate, allows the sector to include unconstrained energy recovery of automotive shredder residue (ASR) in the statistics. Energy recovery from ASR sounds like a good thing, but in reality, ASR is bad for the environment and is a rapidly increasing waste stream within the sector.


What is ASR and why is it bad for the environment?

ASR is the 25% remaining vehicle components after depollution and the removal of recyclable or reusable parts. ASR is waste and is composed mainly of plastics, contaminated by other inseparable materials. ASR is often disposed of in landfills as solid urban waste, and constitutes 10% of total hazardous waste in the EU. Only certain ASR can be incinerated for energy recovery and incineration naturally releases harmful emissions into the air. The fact is, including ASR as part of the overall ELV recovery rates is deceiving.


Incineration of waste to produce energy.

Incinerating ASR for energy is harmful to the atmosphere, and so it would be much better for the environment if we could use additional methods to recover material for recycling. There are currently eight different technologies available that offer post-shredder waste stream separation, and help achieve higher true recycling rates.

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