Lesson 2 – Automotive waste processing operations

Lesson 2 – Automotive waste processing operations

Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles is sometimes using different definitions for the classification of operations of: reuse, backfilling, energy recovery, recycling and recovery according to the definitions in the Waste Framework Directive (WFD).

In the following lines, a summary of the definitions in the end-of-life context is provided:

Reuse has a similar definition as in WFD; in the end-of-life context, it means that spare parts coming from dismantled cars are reconditioned and used as replacement of broken parts of vehicles in service; the wording reuse implies that the spare part is functionally used for the same purpose for which the part was designed for.

Backfilling means the use of non-hazardous materials, arising from dismantling or shredding, for engineering purposes as landscaping or similar, for instance car glass; the definition of reuse cannot apply because these materials or parts are used for a different purpose than the one for which they were designed. This definition is coherent with the one used in the WFD.

Energy recovery means the use of combustible waste as a means to generate energy through direct incineration with or without other waste but with recovery of the heat, coherently also with the WFD

Recycling, in the end-of-life vehicles context, means any reprocessing in a production process of the waste materials either for the original purpose or for other purposes, excluding energy recovery. Differently from the WFD, it includes also backfilling operations.

Recovery, in the end-of-life vehicles context, is any operation which can be classified as recycling (including backfilling) or energy recovery; the definition is therefore coherent with the one in the WFD.

ELV are the most recyclable consumer products, which can provide more than 14 million tons of steel to the steel industry every year. Some examples of parts being recycled from end-of-life vehicles are presented below.

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