Ireland revs up for free take back of old cars

The first draft of regulations which would see the free take-back and environmentally-sensitive scrapping of unwanted cars from 2007 has been unveiled in Ireland.

A kind of car equivalent of the WEEE directive, the End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) directive will see responsibility for disposal of cars shift away from their final owner.

Under the ELV directive importers and manufacturers will be obliged to ensure a network of registered sites capable of dismantling their vehicles is in place and that these sites can recover at least 85% of the materials used in them.

Each producer will be expected to have at least one of these authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) in every Irish county.

“The main effect of these draft regulations will be that when a person has a car or small van that has reached the end of it’s useful life, there will be at least one facility available in their county or city where they can bring the vehicle in the knowledge that it will be depolluted and dismantled to a high standard,” said Environment Minister Dick Roche.

“The steel, plastic, glass and tyres will be recovered for recycling in a way that is not harmful to the environment.”

Under the proposed system waste operators who wish to scrap end-of-life vehicles will have to meet higher environmental standards than is currently the case and must be equipped to remove pollutants a part of the scrapping process.

Scrap merchants caught processing vehicles without meeting the new standards face fines of up to 15 million Euros and prison sentences of up to ten years.

The draft Regulations set out specific measures in relation to the collection, storage, treatment, dismantling, reuse and recycling of end-of-life vehicles.

Under the EU Directive, each Member State is required to:

  • Achieve recovery and recycling targets of 85% reuse or recovery by average weight per vehicle deposited for appropriate treatment going up to 95%.

  • Ensure that all end-of-life vehicles are dismantled, treated and recovered by industry at no cost to the final owner of that vehicle and in a manner that does not cause environmental pollution.

  • Introduce a system which means certificates of destruction sent to the vehicle registration authorities once owners have handed in their vehicle at an ATF.

  • minimise the use of specified hazardous substances in vehicles.

    The directive is expected to be in place by January 1, 2007 and consultation on the current form is open until Friday, March 24.

    by Sam Bond

  • Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie