The European Union has made producers responsible for recycling ELVs while the US lack an all-inclusive legislation in this area. ELVs today are a very highly recycled product. They are dismantled and shredded. Useful components like reusable parts and metals are reused or recycled while the non-metallic shredder residue is usually landfilled. The environmental impact of ELVs is manly due to resources lost when shredder residue is landfilled and to emissions of hazardous substances to the environment. The economics in the ELV management primarily depend on the value of the ELV, the costs of processing and disposal, and the value of the recovered materials.
The purpose of this essay is to study the treatment of end-of-life vehicles with regard to resource recovery. The legislation, environmental impact, material flows and economics are considered.
Information was searched in different publications. To get a wider perspective on the legislation a comparison between the EU and the US was made.
There were over 600 million motor vehicles in the world on 1997 and if present trends continue, the number of cars on Earth will double in the next 20 years. On the other hand the average age of vehicles is decreasing so the amount of End-of-life vehicles should increase.
ELVs are already one of the most highly recycled consumer products. The composition of a typical car has changed substantially in recent years. For example, ferrous metal content has decreased significantly as lighter and more fuel-efficient materials such as plastics are incorporated into vehicle design.
2.1 European Union
The EU Directive 2000/53/EC of the European parliament and of the council directs how the national legislations in the European Union treat end of life vehicles. The principal features of the Directive are stated below. (EU...