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Crackdown call on UK scrap rogues

Rochdale Euro-MP Chris Davies is urging the Government to crack down on dodgy dismantlers who are ruining the environment.

Mr Davies says a huge increase in scrap metal prices is causing more unlicensed operators to flout environmental laws when disposing of scrap cars across the UK.

The Lib Dem environmental spokesman is concerned that more than half of all cars going for scrap are not being depolluted properly meaning UK recycling targets are not being met.

The End-of-Life Vehicles Directive, which became UK law in 2003, requires potential contaminants such as oil, brake fluid and airbags to be removed from cars before they are scrapped.

Old cars must be taken to one of 1,200 approved treatment facilities, licensed by the Environment Agency, with owners issued with a Certificate of Destruction to prove it’s been depolluted, lawfully scrapped and road tax is no longer due.

But illegal dismantlers are undercutting legitimate companies with as many as 1.1million old cars unlawfully collected this year.

Those who have invested in depolluting equipment are being forced out of business by the rogue traders, who are cashing in on scrap metal prices rising from £4 per ton to £140 in five years.

Mr Davies blames the DVLA for refusing to adjust vehicle licensing paperwork to take account of the new legal requirement.

Mr Davies said: “Ministers are allowing criminals to run rings around them at the expense of the environment and allowing legitimate businesses to go to the wall.

“This law is good news for the environment but the entire scheme is undermined if these people can simply carry on letting oil and brake fluids wash down the nearest drain.”

Car owners can claim they have scrapped the car themselves simply by ticking a box on their vehicle registration document.

Mr Davies wants this loophole closed.

Andy Kenny, from the End-of-Life Vehicle Recyclers Association, said: “Many operators just aren’t getting enough cars because they are being intercepted by the illegal operators.

“Genuine dismantlers face financial ruin if this situation is allowed to continue.”