Abandoned Cars Mar03
the past few months I have noticed a number of cars abandoned in our countryside,
especially in Essex and Suffolk.
It seems that more and more people are now leaving their unwanted cars on
country lanes, in ditches, on farmland and even in public car parks hoping
that the council will remove, scrap and dispose of them.
should the council be landed with this responsibility and bear the cost of
disposal of citizens' private assets? Why should innocent law abiding
citizens pay higher rates to their Council for those who have chosen to be
irresponsible? How can we ensure that every car owner acts responsibly and
arranges for appropriate disposal without littering our countryside?
1.8m cars are discarded every year in Britain. The UK disposal amounts to
1.8m tons of metallic waste and about 0.4m tons of non-metallic waste (tyres,
plastic, foam, fabric) that ends up in landfills. Approximately 75% of the
raw materials (mainly metals) can be recycled, reused or recovered whilst
the remaining 25% (mainly plastics) require disposal.
EU legislation for End of Life Vehicles (ELVs) was adopted by the European
Parliament and the Council of EU Ministers in September 2000 as Directive
2000/53/EC and should have been in place in the UK by April 2002. The
EU envisages that the manufacturer of the vehicle will meet all or a
significant part of the cost of disposal from 1st January 2007
and hopes that its Directive will increase the rate of re-use/recovery of
metals to 85% by July 2006 and 95% by July 2015, allowing lower targets
for vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1980.
EU Directive will have a crippling effect on our scrap car industry as
dealers, especially the smaller family owned businesses, will either have
to invest in new plant for crushing and recycling or simply close! Already
the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is charging them an annual fee of
£1000 for inspection. It will require car manufacturers to pay around £200
million each year for car disposals for the 1.8m cars scrapped in the UK
alone. This increase in their costs will inevitably be passed on to car
buyers in the form of higher prices!
UK requires the final owner of the ELV to bear the cost of delivery until
July 2007. The re-use, recovery and disposal will be managed by ATFs
supervised by the EPA. ATFs may be contracted to more than one
manufacturer of vehicles who will re-imburse disposal and submit returns
of collection and disposal of their branded ELVs to the EPA.
EU Directive is yet another example of complex legislation from a
bureaucracy gone mad. We need legislation that neither burdens the
manufacturer/scrap dealer nor the end user of the vehicle in order to
facilitate enforcement. Only then can we ensure that people will no longer
need to abandon their old vehicles and litter our countryside.