End-of-life vehicles (ELV) are vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life or are abandoned and have at least 4 wheels. They are used for passenger transport and must have a maximum of 8 seats apart from the driver's seat. They are also vehicles with more than 4 wheels that transport goods and have a maximum mass of less than 3.5 tonnes. In addition, vehicles with 3 symmetrical wheels that have an engine displacement of more than 50 cubic centimetres and are internal combustion or designed and manufactured so that they do not exceed a speed of 45km/h. Mopeds are excluded.
They will only be considered waste once they are delivered to the authorised treatment centre (CAT) to be decontaminated and issued with a certificate of destruction. These authorised centres are facilities authorised to carry out any operation necessary to treat end-of-life vehicles. Before treatment they must be decontaminated. Treatment consists of dismantling, shredding or any other operation necessary to enable the recycling, reuse, recovery or disposal of the vehicles, their parts and derived waste.
Recycling of end-of-life vehicles
Vehicle recycling is very important for the environment because it contains toxic waste and polluting liquids. In order to recycle as much as possible, the vehicle must undergo treatment so that it does not pollute. The first step is done by the CAT centres, where the vehicle is deregistered with the DGT, decontaminated and the parts that can be reused are removed.
Recycling would have 5 main phases:
- Reception and verification of the vehicle: the authorised centre must have a space to receive the vehicle. In this part of the process, the owner of the vehicle delivers it together with the necessary documentation to check that there are no problems that could hinder its treatment.
- Decontamination: toxic and hazardous waste is removed and correctly managed. Vehicle fluids and other hazardous components such as oils, fuel, etc. are removed.
- Scrapping or removal of components: once the vehicle has been decontaminated, non-hazardous waste (glass waste, tyres, etc.) and reusable parts (shock absorbers, batteries, etc.) are removed.
- Compaction: in this phase, the vehicles are compacted.
- Shredding: in this phase, the vehicles are shredded into small pieces. Light materials are separated by suction and ferrous metals by magnetic techniques. The remaining materials (metals, plastics...) go through other processes until the required materials are obtained.
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