Phelps Brothers environmentally-responsible vehicle disposal process
More than 1.5 million vehicles come to the end of their lives in the United Kingdom every year. According to legislation, these End-of-Life Vehicles must undergo rigorous depollution by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) before the car can be scrapped. Substances covered in this depollution include: tyres, fuels, oils, batteries, coolant, brake fluid, glass and plastic.
It is common for vehicle parts to be reused and metal to be reprocessed. However, the other constituent materials are much more difficult to separate out and recycle. They usually end up going into landfill. As a result, only about 75% of the weight of a car ends up being recycled.
On the other hand, Phelps recycles as much as possible, comfortably exceeding the typical 75% reuse and recovery figure.
The EU End-of-Life Vehicles Directive aims to increase reuse and recovery of these vehicles to 95% by 2015 and Phelps is confident of meeting this target.
Outline of the process
The vehicle is raised to head-height on a rig so that trained operatives can gain access to its underside.
Fluids including petrol or diesel, engine oil, hydraulic brake fluid, gear-box oil, shock absorber fluid, screen-wash and engine coolants are carefully removed.
The depolluted vehicle is sent on to the shredder for the recovery of the remaining components such as plastic, glass, tyres and metal. The fluids are recycled.