Recycling performance for end-of-life vehicles remains high
Today, at the Centre for Electrical Transport, ARN presented its Sustainability Report for 2012. The report reveals for example that last year, 96.1% of end-of-life vehicles, measured by weight, were recycled and usefully reused. This practically matches the high level achieved in 2011, when the score amounted to 96.2%.
This 96.1% breaks down into two components: 83.7% of the weight of end-of-life vehicles was directly reused in the form of products or materials while 12.4% was incinerated in waste-fired power stations, as energy recovery. With these results, ARN is slowly but surely approaching the legal standard that from 2015 onwards specifies a breakdown of at least 85% recycling, supplemented up to 95% through useful applications such as incineration with energy recovery. At present, in the field of car recycling, this places the Netherlands amongst the European leaders. The fact that a country like Russia is now calling upon the knowledge and expertise at ARN is a reflection of this reputation abroad.
Large market share
In total last year, in the Netherlands, more than 237,207 end-of-life vehicles were officially deregistered. The vast majority of those vehicles – 196,573 to be precise – were processed by car dismantling companies affiliated to ARN. The market share achieved by ARN, at 82.9%, thereby remained at a high level. To successfully manage the huge flow of residual waste, ARN’s PST facility in Tiel is now running at full capacity. Having introduced two-shift operation at the end of 2012, the plant recently went into continuous operation, five days a week, with three shifts. The supply of shredder waste has now also been extremely efficiently organised, in close collaboration with the Dutch shredder companies. In addition to the post-separation of shredder waste, ARN is also permanently involved in a range of research programmes aimed at identifying higher-quality applications for the residual materials. These studies are starting to bear fruit in the form of a number of solid, innovative sales opportunities for materials separated in the PST facility.
Despite the numerous positive initiatives in the sector, even today there is a lively trade in end-of-life vehicles via the Internet. In addition, thousands of traders use this same route to sell second-hand car parts, while a number of vehicles continue to be dismantled, entirely without any form of supervision. These are just a few examples of unfair competition that continue to face ARN and its affiliated car dismantling companies and shredders. Dealing with this stubborn phenomenon will remain a key spearhead for ARN in 2013.
Point of criticism
There have been a raft of encouraging developments in the field of end-of-life vehicle recycling over the past few years. Nonetheless, ARN still sounds a critical note in respect of government policy in this area. According to the National Waste Management Plan 2009-2021, car shredder waste can still be incinerated. Overcapacity at the Dutch waste-fired power plants has however led to a major cut in incineration charges. “Partly as a consequence, the processing rates at ARN for car shredder waste are now below cost price. This is an unjustified situation since processing by ARN ensures the return of shredder waste to the chain, in the form of secondary raw materials,” explained Arie de Jong, Managing Director of ARN. “As a consequence, without any government support, initiatives for the post separation of waste material have had difficulty in justifying their existence. If we wish to truly have a fully-functioning raw materials roundabout, it is essential that government includes this situation in its policy.”