By Steve Eminton
Car manufacturers and end of life (ELV) vehicle recyclers have been warned by the Department for Business that the new reuse, recycling and recovery targets for the sector are just six months away.
And, recycling targets could get even harder to meet if average weigh calculations for vehicles were to increase, a move signalled as a likely possibility by BIS.
Speaking at the CARS-Expo event in Doncaster held last week, Paul Hallett of the BIS environmental regulations team, told the audience that from no later than 1 January 2015, for all ELVs the reuse and recovery rate will be increased to 95% minimum by average weight (85% at present). This includes a recycling and reuse target of 85% (up from 80%).
He explained that there is a legal requirement on vehicle marques and manufacturers to meet the targets on vehicles which pass through their collection networks. And, while there is provision for authorised treatment facilities to operate outside of the network there is a responsibility places for meeting targets on those ATFs.
Referring to past figures, which showed a reuse, recycling and recovery rate of 85.6% for 2011, he noted: We are still a long way short of meeting the 2015 targets. The number of vehicles captured is somewhat less than the true vehicles going through the system.
And, asked about potential non-compliance with the targets, he said the department would be unhappy if the targets arent met.
The UK targets are weight-based and are linked to data gathered by BIS which has measured the average weight of a vehicle the UK is 17th in the list of European countries by weight per vehicle. This is a crucial factor in calculating recycling and may now be out-of-date. with Mr Hallett noting that the UK is a fair way down with our shredder trial weight in kilos.
The shredder weight for a vehicle (ie metal from a vehicle which has been through a metal shredder) is currently 75% of the vehicle and Mr Hallett was cautious over the true weight today. However, he noted that the 971 kg figure is probably shy of the vehicles coming into shredders today.
Mr Hallett said that his department would welcome the development of plants to process shredder residues, such as the EMR Oldbury facility but observed they are dealing with a mix of shredder residues and only a portion is vehicle residue and this will have to be reflected in the reporting.
Keith Freegard of Axion Polymers also addressed the CARS conference and noted how the development of a polymers plant by the company offered a solution to increasing recycling of shredder residue material.
Working with Nortons, the company is able to extract different polymers from the material and add value to them which means that Axion can provide material to customers on a long term and stable basis. Polymers are typically separated as PP, ABS and PS. All are black and grey in colour. We are a compounding business so may blend this in with other polymres and fillers and make a more technical polymer.
Alongside this, Mr Freegard said that the company can use shredder residue for creating a solid recovered fuel with a high calorific value that is very different from the RDF in the municipal stream. We are approaching a powdered coal and this is no longer waste in my view.