EPA waste data release 14th June 2022. Latest reference year 2020. Data subject to Eurostat validation.
Ireland achieved an End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) reuse and recycling rate of 90.33% and a reuse and recovery rate of 97.12% in 2020, in compliance with current EU targets.
This is the third year that Ireland achieved full compliance with the ELV Directive targets which were fully met for the first time in 2018 (see Figure 1 & Table 1).
Ireland must continue to improve the reuse, recycling and recovery of valuable material from end-of-life vehicles as part of our transition to a circular economy.
Table 1 - ELV Reuse, Recycling, Recovery Rates, 2010-2020
|ELV reuse and recycling %||77||81||82||80||82||83.30||86.00||85.90||86.37||87.43||90.33|
|ELV reuse and recovery %||77||83||88||92||91||91.80||92.80||94.60||95.17||95.21||97.12|
|Treatment Type||Tonnes||Percentage %|
|Reuse & Recycling||113,817||90.33|
|Reuse & Recovery||122,375||97.11|
ELVs are cars or light commercial vehicles (weighing less than 3.5 tonnes) that are no longer suitable for use and are discarded as waste.
ELVs generate between 8 and 9 million tonnes of waste in the European Union (EU) annually. The EU ELV Directive (2000/53/EC) sets out measures to promote the reuse, recycling and recovery of ELVs and requires each Member State to meet the targets of 95% reuse and recovery of ELVs, with a minimum of 85% reuse and recycling.
You are required by law to have your end-of-life vehicle deposited at a vehicle recycler that is permitted by the local authorities or licensed by the EPA. Vehicle recycling facilities or ATFs are better known as ‘scrapyards’ or ‘car dismantlers’. These facilities will accept your vehicle free of charge but there might be a fee for collection.
If ELVs are not recycled, the European economy loses millions of tonnes of valuable materials such as metals that can be reused, recycled and recovered as part of the circular economy.
When a vehicle is no longer suitable for use, it should be brought to a vehicle recycling facility (ATF). The ATF will then issue the registered owner with a Certificate of Destruction so they will no longer be liable for motor tax.
The first step of the ELV treatment process is depollution. This process involves the removal of hazardous materials such as oils, fuel, fluids, batteries and explosive components (e.g. air bags) from the ELV. The ELV may also be dismantled to obtain spare parts for reuse and components for recycling. Commonly removed spare parts include mirrors, lights and engine parts. Tyres and catalytic converters are generally removed for recycling.
In the next step of the treatment process, the depolluted ELV is shredded at a metal recycling facility. The shredded ELV material is then segregated into ferrous and non-ferrous metal and non-metal material.
The shredded metal is melted to make new metal products. The non-metallic shredded material undergoes further treatment.
All of the economic operators involved in the life cycle of vehicles, including vehicle manufacturers, distributors and importers have obligations to meet the ELV Directive reuse, recycling and recovery targets.
The ELV Directive aims to prevent & limit waste from end of life vehicles and improve the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life-cycle of vehicles.
Ireland's producer compliance scheme for ELVs, ELV Environmental Services (ELVES), was established in 2017. It works on behalf of vehicle manufacturers, distributors and importers to improve the ELV processing in Ireland and enable its member to meet their regulatory responsibilities. ELVES also promote a network of ATFs to encourage vehicle owners to recycle ELVs at permitted ATFs.
The EPA uses information provided by ATFs through the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO) and other waste facilities, to gather data on ELV collection and processing. This data is supplemented by information from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), ELVES and the Department of Transport.
As part of annual reporting under the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive, the EPA submits ELV waste statistics for Ireland to the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications for transmission to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The data are required to be submitted by 30th June of the reference year +2 (i.e. 2019 data were collected and processed in 2020 and submitted to Eurostat by 30th June 2021). Following validation by Eurostat, official statistics for Ireland and all Member States are published on the Eurostat website as part of the following datasets: