Lesson 2: Current situation in numbers, and technical basis
In this lesson, we will explore the current statistics related to end-of-life vehicles in the European Union and the technical basis for their treatment and disposal.
- Key Numbers Describing the Current Situation
- In 2016, the European Union had 258 million registered passenger vehicles, all falling under the End-of-Life Vehicle Directive’s scope.
- Additionally, approximately 90% of the 34 million registered trucks weighing under 3.5 tonnes were within the directive’s scope.
- However, trucks weighing over 3.5 tonnes were not covered by the directive, and neither were other vehicle types such as motorcycles, trailers, and buses.
- In 2017, 11.21 million light commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles left the registered records. Out of these, 6.57 million were reported as end-of-life vehicles.
- The whereabouts of 3.77 million vehicles leaving the records are currently unknown, often due to exports not being declared.
- The average weight of an end-of-life vehicle in 2017 was 1088 kilograms, totaling 12.2 million tonnes of waste.
- The material composition of end-of-life vehicles in 2017 was approximately 70% ferrous metals, 4% non-ferrous metals, 3% glass, and 14.8% mixed plastic (excluding certain materials).
- The use of plastic in vehicles has increased over time, with implications for end-of-life vehicle treatment.
- In 2017, most EU Member States achieved the goal of an 85% recyclability rate for end-of-life vehicles.
- The percentage of reused parts and components from end-of-life vehicles varied across the EU, ranging from zero to 33%.
- Some materials, like metals and metal components, had high reuse and recycling rates, while materials like glass, tires, and most plastics were directed to energy recovery or landfills.
- Europe has approximately 14,000 authorized treatment facilities and 350 vehicle cutting facilities. The number of such facilities before the End-of-Life Vehicle Directive’s implementation is unknown.
- End-of-Life Vehicle Treatment: Technical Basis
- The treatment of end-of-life vehicles involves several steps, beginning with treatment in authorized facilities as required by the End-of-Life Vehicle Directive.
- Annex I of the directive outlines minimum requirements for these facilities, with additional national requirements possible.
- The second step involves shredding the end-of-life vehicle waste. Facilities for cutting and shredding must adhere to best available techniques for waste treatment.
- Some facilities integrate cutting processes (Post Shredder Technologies), while others send remains for further processing, such as off-site after-cutting facilities or landfills.
- The shredding process results in ferrous metals, aluminum, and other metal fractions, with some parts requiring additional treatment.
- After-cutting processes, as shown in Figure 9, are considered essential for meeting the recycling goals set by the End-of-Life Vehicle Directive.
- Understanding the current situation regarding end-of-life vehicles is crucial for effective management and compliance with the End-of-Life Vehicle Directive.
- The technical basis for treatment and disposal involves multiple steps, with specific requirements outlined in the directive.
- As the use of plastics in vehicles continues to increase, adapting end-of-life vehicle treatment processes will be essential.