Between 1.6 and 2 million vehicles reach the end of their life in the UK each year and are sent to shredders and car wreckers to be stripped apart and disposed of. Government legislation has increased the percentage of recovered material required to be processed from 70% to 85%, meaning less waste is being sent to landfill.
This has resulted in stricter processes being put in place to separated metals from polymers and non-recyclable materials. Separating metallic and non-metallic materials from co-mingled waste has been quite difficult in the past. However, there has been significant investment in equipment that can automatically remove plastics during the shredding process, so that these can be recycled separately.
According to Recycling Waste World, a Volkswagen Golf is made up of:
- Steel and iron: 62.9%
- Operating fluids and tools: 2.3%
- Electronics: 0.1%
- Composites and sundries: 3.3%
- Process polymers: 1.1%
- Mixed polymers: 19.5%
- Other non-ferrous metals: 2.6%
- Aluminium alloys: 8.2%
Once a car has been shredded, the metallic waste is removed leaving what is known as automotive shredder residue (ASR). At least 50% of this ASR contains valuable recoverable material. Of this, plastics are some of the most valuable and useful materials that can be removed and recycled.
There is a push to increase the total amount of material recovered to 95%, with Germany already achieving this goal. In order for this to happen there needs to be an increase in plastics recycling during the end of live vehicle destruction process.
At MB Recycling, we are able to help with this process and can supply various grades of recycled plastics from shredding plants. For more information, contact us via our online form or call Maxine on 07734 946418.