IARC: Industry experts discuss the challenge of acquiring end-of-life vehicles

Access to quality, late-model salvage is a topic of concern for recyclers around the world. The challenge was recently discussed at IARC 2017 in Berlin, Germany.

Berlin, Germany — March 28, 2017 — Finding quality salvage vehicles is a challenge for recyclers worldwide. A number of sector representatives came together recently at the International Automobile Recycling Congress (IARC) 2017 to discuss various proposals to meet this challenge. The event took place March 22 to 24 at Hotel Palace in Berlin, Germany.

Henk Jan Nix is the General Secretary of the European Group of Automotive Recycling Associations (EGARA). According to a report in Recycling magazine, Nix believes the solution is registration systems which track vehicles during their entire life. Ideally, this would ensurie that the vehicles will be sent only to officially recognised end-of-life vehicle dismantlers. Of course, that would also require official recognition and guidelines for what constitutes a legitimate vehicle dismantler. In Canada, some provinces have this sort of recognition, but the majority still do not.

A further suggestion from Nix was to simply make it an issue of dollars: pay more for the cars and the sellers will naturally sell them to you. However, Nix says this is only possible if automotive recyclers can recover as many parts as possible. In turn, this requires that they have access to the right data. This is an issue that is top-of-mind for auto recycling professionals here in Canada.

“In order to do so, we need more information from manufacturers about the various parts,” said Nix according to a report in Recycling magazine.  “We are willing to pay for this information.”

The dollars paid to sellers do not necessarily have to come out of the pockets of recyclers, according to Gareth Williams. Willliams is the Marketing & Communications Director for the EMR Group. He says there are other ways to reward sellers for disposing of vehicles through approved channels.

“One such way would be to introduce a type of road fund levy that is then paid to the last owner when it is disposed of properly,” said Williams according to Recycling magazine. The report also notes that Denmark uses a system like this, and has found that a payment of about 300 euros seems sufficient to keep end-of-life vehicles in the salvage stream.  

“Those people who do not follow the required processes for disposing of end-of-life vehicles do not have the overheads that we have and therefore can afford to pay more for these vehicles,” said Williams, according to Recycling magazine. “A great many end-of-life vehicles go missing every year, all over Europe, which means we cannot run our plants at full capacity.”

The report also includes statistics on the number of end-of-life vehicles that disappear from the stream every year. The stats were provided by Dr. Georg F. Mehlhart, Senior Researcher for Resources & Mobility at Oeko-Institut. He estimates that between 10 and 12 million end-of-life vehicles are generated across the European Union each year. Some 1.2 million of these are exported outside the EU as used vehicles. A further six million are officially reported and treated according to the requirements of the ELV Directive. Dr. Mehlhart notes that this means about four million of these vehicles simply disappear every year in the EU. That’s equal to 40 million vehicles disappearing from the salvage stream over the last 10 years in the EU.


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