Amsterdam, The Netherlands — Greater cooperation within the car recycling sector to arrive at a sustainable and eventually a circular chain: That`s what ARN director De Jong called for at the Driving Business Aftermarket Event once again organised by Automobiel Management. And he listed a number of urgent challenges still facing the sector in the field of car recycling.
Arie de Jong started his presentation with the good news: The sector is already highly active in recycling car-related materials and end-of-life vehicles, for example by processing such materials as used oil, cardboard and plastics. As De Jong explained, “200,000 end-of-life vehicles per year generate some 200 million kg of waste. A large proportion of the waste is already fed into a circular system. What is left at the end of the day are 40 million kg of post-shredder waste. ARN processes that waste in its waste separation (PST) plant. This entire system, supported by the recycling fee, means that 95 percent of the materials from end-of-life vehicles are usefully recovered.”
According to De Jong, there are still three major worrying challenges in the sector, that are structural hindrances to total sustainability. The first of these has two elements: fake exports and illegal dismantling. This issue relates to cars that are deregistered for export purposes. A proportion of those vehicles are not actually exported but instead are illegally dismantled. According to estimates, at least 1,000 traders are involved in these harmful activities, that affect some 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles every year. Secondly, there are less visual inspections and there is little information about the waste substances processed by non ARN-affiliated companies when it comes to the recycling of cars. The final challenge relates to the 100 or more metal dealers and 15 „breakers“ who chop cars rather than shredding them. The outcome is the processing of waste substances that leads to serious environmental problems.
Various stakeholders including the dismantling companies, STIBA, the Government Road Transport Agency (RDW), the Tax and Customs Administration, the body responsible for Tackling vehicle criminality, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and ARN have for some time been working to plug these ‘leakage flows’. However, they can only effectively tackle these issues if the entire chain takes its own responsibility, and joins the process. Director Arie de Jong therefore called upon the automotive retail sector to also take its own environmental responsibility, and to join forces with ARN; after all, 50 percent of the vehicles supplied to the dismantling companies originate from the automotive retail chain.