Decorating the landscapes of distant fields and post-apocalyptic films, we often see rusted cars – invaded by grass and birds. Even in the real world, we often see brown rusted vehicle skeletons on the roads themselves, perhaps left on the side – or, indeed, on its side depending. Things break down and we need to get rid of them: to save space, to recycle for more parts, etc. Disposing of cars, however, is not easy and can be extremely hazardous to the environment.
For this reason, the European Union instituted the End of Life Vehicles Directive for automotive products. The aim is to focus on curbing the waste produced during the process of getting rid of vehicles. End-of-life itself refers to a product that has worn out its use and can’t be used in its current form, to any great purpose (or its original purpose), any longer.
The focus is slightly broader, though, since the way a car is treated in its life also determines the way it is treated at its end. As it states: “The requirements for dismantling, reuse and recycling of end-of life vehicles and their components should be integrated in the design and production of new vehicles.” Part of what goes into the results of a vehicle repayment calculator would be factors like its design, so it’s important to keep this in mind in general.
Thus, the directive then aims at preventing the use of certain heavy metals like cadmium, mercury, lead; the de-pollution of fluids and certain components; the collection of vehicles at treatment facilities; achieving reuse, recycling and recovery of performance targets; and so on.
Of course, whether it is followed is another question – but the reasons to do so are important in terms of being “good” to the planet; not wasting unnecessary material and being able to reuse material in a planet increasingly seeing scarcity of precious resources.
An authorized treatment facility can be an incredible boon to the environment. Considering that, for example, more than 2 million cars need to be scrapped in the UK alone – and only 50% of owners are scrapping those cars properly – this leaves plenty of metal and waste that is not being disposed of in the proper fashion.
The incentive for drivers is that they are absolved of any responsibility once it is goes into the registered and authorized treatment facilities. Fluids and metals could leak into certain areas and do serious environmental damage; this kind of pollution can lead to direct fines since it causes great harm to plant and animal life.
Presumably no one wants to receive such fines: thus, there is a great incentive to make some small effort to send cars that have been well used into places where professionals can scrap them. And, by so doing, one aids in making the world slightly cleaner and better.
Image credit: IFCAR (link)