With a steadily increasing fund of information, suggestions and solutions in the field of environmental protection and specifically the proper disposal of waste, there is virtually no community in the UK, no matter how small or isolated, that does not have access to recycling and refuse disposal facilities.  Items that are easily portable, which includes most ordinary household waste, can be recycled, composted or at least compacted for final disposal.

Big items like the family car are another story.  The Environment Agency estimates that around two million UK vehicles ‘die’ every year – either totaled in accidents or too old to get up and go anymore.  Some can be sold for scrap, but many end up rusting away in the side yard or other inappropriate spots because getting rid of them is just too much trouble.

In an effort to resolve the problem of waste and environmental hazards associated with defunct vehicles, in 2005 the UK passed legislation called the ELV (End of Life Vehicle) Directive.  It is meant to insure that all recyclable parts of a vehicle are actually recycled, and includes the proviso that all hazardous materials such as oil, brake fluid, batteries etc are first removed and dealt with in an environmentally acceptable manner.

The government licensed Authorized Treatment Facilities (ATFs) all over the country, where any used vehicle that cannot be re-sold, donated to a charity or otherwise reaches the end of its life on the road can be taken at no cost to the owner.  An ATF will ‘decontaminate’ the vehicle and issue a Certificate of Destruction that relieves its owner of any further legal responsibility and takes the vehicle out of the DVLA database.

Recycling your vehicle makes good sense for the environment; by 2015 up to 95% of the materials in every recycled vehicle will be re-used if the ELV Directive’s target is met.  In addition there are financial incentives for the owners.  They can recoup some money on scrap metal and used parts and/or qualify for a tax deduction.  Go to the Waste Online website for additional information.

By Alan