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BERR expresses “real concern” over ELV disposal

BERR (UK Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) has expressed “real concern” over the proper disposal of scrap vehicles following the sharp fall in metal prices and claimed that the producer responsibility system is now being seriously called into action for the first time.

Under the End of Life Vehicle Regulations, producers are responsible for helping to fund the recycling of scrap vehicles, and must join one of two network providers – Autogreen and Cartakeback – who provide a network of authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) offering free take-back of ELVs.

End-of-life vehicles can be returned free of charge to any authorised treatment facility within the producer-funded networks

While vehicle manufacturers have had an easy ride in recent years, with the high value of metals making take-back a profitable option for both ATFs and the last owners of vehicles, the sharp decline in metals prices is likely to see them playing a larger part in subsidising the service.
In a statement, BERR said the drop in metals prices meant “the proper disposal of scrap vehicles is once again becoming a real concern – particularly in remote rural areas of the UK.”

And, economics and business minister Ian Pearson said: “We know the scrap metal market is experiencing difficulties at the moment and it’s precisely for these sorts of circumstances that the ELV Regulations were designed.”

“It doesn’t matter what the value of a scrap car currently is – under the requirements of the Regulations, automotive manufacturers have established networks of convenient facilities where vehicles can be returned at no cost to the last owner. They will ensure the car or van is properly treated and at least 85 per cent of it is recycled and put to new uses,” he added.

While the producer responsibility system for ELVs has been in place since January 2007, Mr Pearson described the current situation as the first time that the free take-back option had been “seriously called into action”.

“It’s now more important than ever that people are aware of this service so we can minimise the potentially damaging impact of fluctuating metal prices on local authorities, who have a duty to collect abandoned vehicles,” he added.

His comments come after vehicle dismantlers expressed concern that the drop in metals prices could trigger a “dramatic” increase in the number of abandoned vehicles.
Under the ELV Regulations ‘free take-back’ guarantee, ATFs within the networks must provide a free collection service for last owners of vehicles who live more than 30 miles from their nearest facility.

ATFs are also expected to issue a Certificate of Destruction confirming that a vehicle has been destroyed and informing the DVLA that the last owner’s licensing responsibility had ended.