Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Thursday, 28 April 2011

End of Life Vehicles

Ok, I know most of you understand ELV’s, but please allow me to expand on the EU regulations and show you that this is more than just a set of rules for vehicles in auto recycling yards.

The whole ELV process starts from vehicle design – ensuring components used in vehicle build can be recycled, adherence to a very specific list of materials that cannot be used in vehicles, ease of dismantling are all necessary. The EU believes that these regulations have resulted in a 90% reduction of hazardous substances in vehicle build since introduction.
Vehicle manufacturers also have a requirement to make dismantling information available to the auto recycling industry – including details of what components are made from, especially important when removing plastic components.
The European Union are also supporting development of recycling techniques and the recycled marketplace – to make sure that any components removed for recycling can be reused.

Once an ELV arrives at the auto recycling yard the vehicle must be stored on an impermeable surface, with sealed drainage until it has been de-polluted. This makes sure that any fluids leaking out are captured and cannot contaminate the surrounding area.
After de-pollution the vehicle can then go into the main yard.
De-pollution includes the following components and processes:
Air Conditioning – evacuation of the system, storage of the removed gas for safe recycling
Oils – removal of all oils from engine, gearbox, power steering and shock absorbers, includes removal of the engine oil filter. Fuel –removal of all fuels; Coolant –Removal; Screen Washer Fluid – removal; All fluids are then safely stored for future recycling.
All fluids need to be stored in sealed containers that are in a bunded area – an enclosed area that will stop fluid leaking out if storage tanks fail.
Tyres: Removed and stored for re-use or recycling, lead balance weights are removed from wheels and stored separately.
Airbags: Deployed.
Batteries: Removed and stored in sealed containers for recycling
Catalytic Converters: Removed and stored for future recycling.

Once the vehicle is considered to be ‘clean’ it can then go into the main yard for further processing as desired, this could be dismantling or straight to a shredder facility. Some recycling yards strip vehicles down further with cores going into separate bins, alloys separated from steel, etc.

Where does the future lie? – Well the EU has set the standard that the rest of the world must follow. There is still plenty to do, ELV legislation applies to cars and light commercials only, so the EU need to bring motorbikes and heavy commercials under the directive as soon as possible, and enforcement is a priority – according to latest reports 12 member states (out of 27) have not met the requirements of the ELV directive.
If this were my old school teacher it would get a B+, but could do better!

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