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UK DTI Introduce New Regulations for Recycling Vehicles

14 February 2005

The UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has introduced a series of regulations that will affect how vehicle will be recycled at the end of their life.

Under the new proposals, which apply to passenger cars and light vans, the onus will be on car manufacturers to take back cars from consumers and ensure that more of the waste from scrap cars and light vans is recycled rather than landfilled.

The regulation forms part of The End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Regulations 2005, which was passed in Parliament on the 9th February, which aims to establish new responsibilities for vehicle manufacturers and professional importers to:

by 2006, put in place collection networks to take back their own brands of vehicles, when those vehicles reach the end of their lives;
from 2006, ensure that value is recovered from 85% of the weight of their ELVs (95% from 2015); and
from 2007, provide ""free take-back"" to last owners, who present their ELVs for scrapping at collection networks.

The Energy Minister Mike O'Brien said that ""about two million cars and vans are scrapped each year in the UK. By ensuring that more are recycled through convenient take-back facilities, these regulations will benefit the environment and ought to be good news for car owners.""

The ""own brand"" system, which is strongly supported by vehicle manufacturers, introduces the principle of ""producer responsibility"", complements existing market arrangements for vehicle dismantling, salvage, shredding and recycling, and provides convenience to the last owner in disposing of their vehicle.

The Directive which comes into effect on 3rd March, aims to reduce the amount of waste from vehicles (cars and vans) when they are finally scrapped. In particular it:

requires Members States to ensure that ELVs can only be scrapped ('treated') by authorised dismantlers or shredders, who must meet tightened environmental treatment standards;
states that last-owners must be able to dispose of their vehicles free of charge from January 2007 (even if they have no value when scrapped);
requires producers (vehicle manufacturers or importers) to pay 'all or a significant part' of the costs of take-back from January 2007;
Sets rising reuse, recycling and recovery targets that must be met by economic operators by January 2006 and 2015; and
Restricts the use of heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium) in new vehicles.






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