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MANAGEMENT OF THE END-OF-LIFE

VEHICLES STREAM IN ROMANIA

TAVOULARIS G.*, LOLOS T.*, LOLOS G.*, IORDAN C.**, MOUSTAKAS


K.°, INGLEZAKIS V. °, LOIZIDOU M. °
*Enviroplan S.A., Ag. Konstantinou St. 40, “Aethrio” Business Center 15124,
Athens, Greece
** Ministry Of Environment, 12 Libertatii St, Bucharest, Romania.
° National Technical University of Athens, School of Chemical Engineering,
Heroon Polytechniou 9, Zografou Campus, 15773 Athens, Greece

SUMMARY: End of Life Vehicles Directive 2000/53/EC, aims to control the estimated 8 to 9
million tonnes of wastes generated annually from the disposal of ELVs. Around 25% of this
waste is considered to be hazardous. The ELV Directive is based on “producer’s responsibility”
principle, i.e. it aims to make economic operators responsible for their product. A central
requirement is the free take back, encouraging last owners to deliver their cars to authorised
treatment facilities. It also sets 85% re-use/recovery and 80% re-use/recycling targets by weight
to be achieved by 1 January 2006. No transitional period has been envisaged for the new
Member States who acceded to the EU. The present paper discusses the implementation of the
Directive into the Romania, as well as the strategies to be followed in respect of reaching the
targets taking into account the particularity of Romania and the capacity of the recycling market.

1. INTRODUCTION

End-of-life vehicles are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. Out of the 150
million cars on European roads, ten million have to be disposed of every year. This means that
ten million tons of waste is produced every year, most of which was previously left abandoned
or disposed in the so called “car cemetaries” without any pre-treatment. As a result, there was a
huge loss of valuable resources and a considerable amount of hazardous substances released to
soils. Indeed, non- depolluted ELVs have been placed on the hazardous waste list (16 01 04*), as
well as components such as air bags, oil filters, brake fluids, etc (16 01 10*, 16 01 07*, 16 01
13*).

In the mid-90s increasing pressure from national governments led the automotive industry to
sign voluntary agreements to accept responsibility for the treatment of ELVs. Twelve European
countries developed such agreements, but due to the difference in commitment between MS, it
became a logical consequence to try to harmonise the approach taken. The End-of-Life Vehicles
Directive (2000/53/EC) came into force on 21 October 2000, covering vehicles designated as a
category M1 or N1 as well as three-wheel motor vehicles. Member States should set up a system
of deregistration based on the presentation of a certificate of destruction, whereas producers/

Proceedings Sardinia 2009, Twelfth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium
S. Margherita di Pula, Cagliari, Italy; 5 - 9 October 2009
© 2009 by CISA, Environmental Sanitary Engineering Centre, Italy
importers should establish a collection and treatment facilities network. The last holder of an
end-of-life vehicle can return it free of charge ("free take-back" principle). The Directive sets
85% re-use/recovery and 80% re-use/recycling targets by weight to be achieved by Member
States by 1 January 2006, which will increase to 95% and 85% respectively by 2015. New
Member States had to transpose the Directive by the date of their accession on 1 May 2004.
Implementation of the ELV Directive at a national level has proved more complicated than
expected. The Directive required procedures and administrative structures for reporting for
certificates of destruction to be established. Those countries where regulations for ELV pre-
existed the Directive had already in place such systems. However, the other countries have found
it particularly difficult to implement the Directive effectively. Commission eventually initiated a
number of infringement procedures: five for non-communication and four for non-conformity.
The requirements of the Directive have increased the cost of car treatment, by requiring
elevated levels of reuse and recycling and go beyond what was generally at that time
economically viable. Extra cost was also incurred by the strict environmental standards,
licensing requirements, inspection and administration being imposed on car dismantlers and
scrappers for the first time. The extra procedures and cost required was an obvious disincentive
for full compliance, and additional enforcement action was needed to ensure that more cars were
covered by the system.
Implementation of the Directive is based on the individual approach of the MS, which take
into account the local conditions. In some cases, the cost of establishing the necessary
infrastructure and recycling operations was recovered by putting a fee in the price of every new
car (as is the case in Packaging Waste Directive). In other MS, however, the cost was shared
between producers and authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) and recycling takes place on a
market basis. A few countries found it more effective to establish a collective compliance
scheme to assume the responsibility for targets, such as ARN, FEBELAUTO or VALORCAR.
In Greece for example, establishment of umbrella organizations for all common target waste
streams has been chosen. These schemes can be also responsible for monitoring the targets
and/or for coordination purposes.
However, the situation in the pre-accession countries differs largely from the other EU MS
and the western experience cannot be easily transposed. In more detail, ATFs had to comply
with the minimum technical specifications to avoid oil spillage and soil contamination, to allow
for well maintained storage areas and to promote recycling of materials other than metals. The
Directive aims to reduce landfill disposal and enhance efficient use of resources by incorporating
the cost externalities. External cost was normally not taken into account in the previous
industrial practice. These issues must be followed so as to ensure conditions for fair market
competition and avoid mal-treatment by non-licensed dismantling companies.
The absence of disposal sites conforming to the Landfill Directive, as well as of adequate
capacities of recycling infrastructure, posed difficulties to many industrial sectors during the
transition period (and also after it). Waste disposal is seen as the least preferable option for
management by the EU policies and the waste hierarchy. An elevated cost for the treatment of
dismantled ELVs was incurred and in many cases export of materials to neighbouring countries.
It can be easily understood that in the absence of a straightforward way to handle waste,
especially hazardous, long term storage and eventually illegal disposal may take place. A similar
situation was observed in some Eastern countries, where long term storage occurs in facilities
situated far from cement companies.
Central and Eastern European countries import high volumes of second hand cars from
Northern Europe to satisfy rising domestic demand. However, the distinction between waste and
non-waste, let alone the distinction/ classification between automobiles and end-of-life vehicles
remains a grey zone. Illegal transboundary movement of waste as second-hand cars from the EU
countries and non-EU countries has been experienced. Wrecked cars were imported to dismantle
for spare parts, which is of course not permitted. Competent authorities have to take difficult
decisions by distinguishing among vehicles satisfying the quality, emission and safety standards
and vehicles being discarded by their last owner. Nevertheless, in Romania this phenomenon is
not intense, since only Euro3 category 2nd hand vehicles are allowed for import and registration.
Another issue was to develop the data collection system and to monitor the achievement of
recycling targets. Recording of material flow by the dismantlers with the greater accuracy
possible, was not part of the everyday business of the small companies and resulted in high
administrative effort. At this point it is mentioned that in order to assist operators with data
collection representing the actual situation with as little inaccuracies as possible, rules on the
monitoring of the targets have been provided by Commission Decision 2005/293/EC. The
Commission Decision allows two options for the calculation of the recovery quota, one of which
assumes that a typical figure of 75% metal content automatically counts towards the targets.
Still, a number of uncertainties in the actual reporting procedure have yet to be discussed for a
common approach among the MS, such as: calculation of ELVs and stocks at the end of the year,
calculation of reference weight when a weighing bridge is not available and especially when the
burned or “incomplete”, weight of reuse of non-metal spare parts and validation of data.
As many MS have failed to reach the targets as well as some questions remain open as to the
methodologies followed in the MS, the Commission considered the methodology a reason to
achieve the targets and proposed to the MS to set-up an informal working group from MS
experts and industry to evaluate the methodologies and address the problems encountered.
Last, the question of how to implement the producer’s responsibility principle in practice and
the way to cover the cost of treatment was faced by the relative authorities in the new MS. This
was exaggerated by the reluctance of the car industry to accept the associated cost: scrap metal
prices rose in the past years due to the demand from China and India making the sector
profitable, without the need for a “first registration fee”. The implications of the recent financial
crisis, both in the automotive and the recycling industry, as well as the even higher 2015 targets
will impede the progress and deem the achievement of goals unrealistic.
Responding to the crisis in the European automotive industry, on 25 February 2009 the
Commission has adopted “Guidance on scrapping schemes for vehicles”. In this paper the
Commission has indicated its willingness to strengthen the coordination of national measures
with a view to ensuring full effectiveness of the measures and prevent distortion of the Internal
Market. The guidance paper gives practical guidance to MS how to design scrapping schemes
for vehicles and explains the relevant Community legislation.
Currently 10 MS have scrapping schemes in place and two more have announced their prompt
in the near term. One side effect of the recent dismantling premiums in some EU countries is the
multiplication of the number of ELVs. In some EU countries the number of ELVs has exceed the
capacity of ATFs. If the MS haven’t enough dismantling capacity, many ELVs will have to be
shipped in others EU or not countries and this could be linked to illegal exports.
In order to assist in overcoming the above described barriers, to promote the best
technological solutions for ELVs processing taking into account the particularities of Romania
and to raise awareness among the public and the economic operators, a PHARE Technical
Assistance project has been tendered and awarded to the Consortium Enviroplan S.A. – NTUA.

2. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ELV DIRECTIVE IN ROMANIA

Romania became a full member of EU since 2007. Upon its way to accession, Romania had to
adopt the necessary measures so as to meet the political and economic criteria, to create and
consolidate the capacity of membership. Considering the environmental situation and the
institutional framework, the compliance with environmental Acquis communautaire was one of
the most difficult challenges that Romania had to face. The central responsible governmental
structure in Romania is the Ministry of Environment (ME). Its main responsibilities relate to the
development of environmental strategy, policy and legislation, focused on the EU
approximation.
In the field of waste management, End of Life vehicles were recognized as a priority stream
and ME was co-coordinating the transposition, implementation and enforcement of Directive
2000/53/EC, bearing in mind their place in the national waste management policy. The EU
Directive 2000/53 was transposed into the Romanian law with Governmental Decision No.
2406/2004 on end-of-life vehicles management. Subsequent EC Decisions were also transposed
through other legal acts. The other important institution, National Environmental Protection
Agency (NEPA), is responsible for setting up and administering the ELVs Database, as well as
for following up on the establishment of the collection network of the producers.
National legislation provides for a dual system for the achievement of the targets, namely
either a) individually by producers in private installations or in contracted authorised
installations of another economic operator, or b) by transferring this responsibility to an
authorised legal person (collective scheme, holding the appropriate license). It also provides for
the adoption of voluntary agreements with the economic sectors concerned. At present no
collective compliance scheme is established. The 2 local manufacturing companies have chosen
to establish a collection network through private contracts with authorized dismantlers, where
take back by last owner is free. A second collection network of independent units operates in
parallel. In reality, most dismantlers collect vehicles from all brands.
The current management model is very competitive, since dismantlers pay also a small
reimbursement to the last owner (between zero and 53 € depending on the conditions).
Additionally, the responsibility and effort of attaining the targets is left solely to the recyclers.
The number of non-permitted facilities cannot be estimate, however a market distortion would be
caused due to poor waste management. It is speculated that they do not want to obtain a permit
not only because of the capital expenditure required, but also because they do not want to
assume responsibility of targets. A change of perception by these small-medium enterprises had
to be adopted in a restricted time-scale: the understanding of requirements posed by the law
(minimum technical requirements and waste sound management) had to be disseminated. They
are involved mainly in removing the spare parts and the useful metallic material, not being
interested in the non-profitable part of the business, i.e. depollution and disassembly of
plastic/glass parts. It is clear that future management of negative cost streams (especially
shredder light fraction) will significantly outweigh any profits from reselling metal parts and
may jeopardize the achievement of targets.

3. MAGNITUDE OF THE ROMANIAN CAR FLEET AND ELVs

In Romania, the total income of households has more than doubled within the period 2001 –
2005. A large part of the increase was directed in the purchasing of a new or a second car, as the
living standard of households has improved. Not surprisingly, the demand for private transport
means is highly elastic in respect to one’s salary. This demand is supplementary to the cost and
quality for transport services (buses, metro). The automotive industry is of particular importance
in Romania, the 2 local motor vehicle manufacturers being Dacia and Daewoo (now Ford). A
third manufacturer, Aro, ended its activity due to bankruptcy in 2005. Although the domestic
brands covered in 2007 36% of the motor vehicle market, compared to 60% in 2004, the loss
was recovered by exports to other countries.
The car sector presented a significant growth that was attributed also to the appreciation of the
national currency, the decrease of the interest rates for loans and the substantial promotions
offered by many importers. Additionally, in order to decrease the number of most aged and
polluting vehicles, a programme for the car fleet renewal has started in 2005 (scrapping incentive
of about 850 €) and is repeated every year. In total, more than 45.000 old cars were replaced.
A definite trend to massively replace the older cars with new or 2nd hand but of higher
quality models was identified. Sales presented a continuous increase from 72,157 cars in 2001 to
315,621 in 2007, equivalent to + 27.5% per year, with only a small drop in 2008 (Figure 1). In
2005 the passenger car sales rose by 48.5%.

passenger cars (M1) light commercial vehicles (N1)

350000

300000

250000

200000

150000

100000

50000

0
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Figure 1: Sales of new vehicles for categories M1 and N1 during the period 2001 – 2008
(Source: APIA)

However, the first results of the financial crisis where evident in the car market in the end of
2008. The decline in the number of new registrations was as high as 53% compared to the same
months of 2007. The situation was even more worsened in 2009 and it looks very pessimistic
according to the Romanian Automotive Association (APIA). As a consequence of the market
conditions, both domestic and exports, Dacia has suspended its activity many times from
November 2008 until February 2009, in total of over 4 weeks.

4. DESCRIPTION OF ELVs TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT

Data for year 2007 is not yet available. According to the official figures provided by NEPA,
40.850 units were deregistered in 2006, out of which 24.747 (61%) were treated in ATFs. The
same figure for 2005 is 25.651 and 22.742 respectively. The remaining vehicles were
deregistered without issuing a Certificate of Destruction (CoD). Probably, these figures are not
fully representative since they regard the first years of the implementation of legislation. Most of
vehicles removed from circulation belong to Dacia models (roughly more than two thirds).
Further, a high number of “orphan” vehicles is still in circulation, belonging to the former
eastern block brands, amounting to 3% of the car fleet in 2007 (about 130.000 pieces). For these
vehicles no producer’s responsibility applies and their exchange value is maybe less than zero.
In Romania there are currently 194 authorised treatment facilities, with 231 collecting point
and including 4 shredders, scattered homogenously across the country. These sites have a
relatively small area, 0.2 to 1.2 acres, and typically meet the requirements for impermeable
surfaces. Most of them do not have an oil/water separator or other wastewater treatment
facilities. The activity is done outdoors, only some of the sites use halls. Most of the companies
do not have scales and the amount of accepted, treated and transported ELV waste cannot be
precisely determined. Some companies have lifting equipment (forklift trucks, cranes, etc).
Besides metals, oils and accumulators, recycling of tyres, glass, plastics, foam, etc is difficult
and a great proportion is subsequently deposited. Most of the tyres (up to 70%), large plastic part
and waste oils are recovered in cement kilns, used as alternative fuel for co-incineration. The
total amount of co-incinerated waste is about 10.000tonnes/year. All seven cement kilns fulfil
EU requirements and all are owned by international companies. Although in the country there
are enough facilities for recycling and no suitable incineration plants for energy recovery exist.
There is no developed market to undertake ELV waste, apart from metal scrap and batteries.
As mentioned, ATFs are the only economic agents responsible to achieve the targets.
Therefore any recovery or recycling improvement depends on them and on creating profitable
outlets for the non-metallic fraction of scrap vehicles. Scrap metal, including car recycling has
been taking place for decades in Romania but obviously the focus was on iron recovery.
Currently, there is at least one ATF in each region, but with the exception of some big central
facilities, 150-200 ELVs on average are processed annually by each dismantler. This figure is
well below the required capacity, for which investment in equipments & tools necessary to
efficient depollution and improvement of occupational safety issues, would make sense. Many of
the necessary operations, such as oil draining, are therefore performed manually to a large
extent.
The utilisation of ELV components can be described as follows: Initially, depollution takes
place, as necessitated by legislation in order to remove all liquids and components containing
hazardous substances. No air bags and catalysts are currently contained in the old vehicles
returned for treatment. At present, detached batteries show significant demand by the domestic
lead-acid battery industry. Motor oils can be directed to local cement companies for co-
incineration, albeit at a gate fee of 50-60 €/t (oil regeneration takes place to a negligible extent).
The same applies to used tyres, where only a minor proportion is recycled (granulated) or re-
treaded, the majority being energetically recovered. ATFs in remote areas experience difficulties
and increased costs in transport to legal agents, resulting in long term storage of tyres. However
the transposition of the Landfill Directive in Romanian legislation prohibits disposal of total or
grinded tyres, the implementation of the directive is steel wick. After full implementation of the
legal requirements, the market and uses for recycling are expected to develop.
The most profitable part of business for the dismantling sector is a) Dismantling of spare parts
for re-use b) Trading of metals for recycling. Over the last years, second hand spare part market
has become increasingly difficult due to higher sophistication of new cars (more electronic
parts), certification procedure and small market demand in general. On top of that, one can
hardly find any part in a suitable condition in ELVs as old as 25-30 years. No national spare part
network exists that would have promoted business and purchase is accomplished only on sites.
Selective dismantling of certain (non metal) materials and components with the view of
enhancing the recycling rate of ELVs, has become important as well. Glass is one of the most
difficult to recycle materials, since even the slightest impurities can deem the total production
out of specifications. Some local glass furnaces accept secured glass from lateral windows
having no metal impurities, at 0 € gate fee, but not windscreens. Also in this case, long term
storage is favoured due to low quantities and high transport cost. In view of absence of suitable
outputs, other low value applications (“down-cycling”) must be encouraged, such as use for road
and other construction works.
At present a difficult market exists for polymer materials. According to the Romanian Plastic
Processors Employers Association (ASPAPLAST), members of which are developing plastic
recycling, no company undertakes plastic waste from ELVs, mainly because of lack of material
codification, waste quality (degraded) or because of the lack of profit (the plastic waste
processing is very expensive). The representative of ASPAPLAST has pointed that most ELVs
have overused materials and components. The possibility to recycle this kind of materials is
limited and difficult. Even though some local companies refuse to undertake plastics recovered
from ELVs, either due to lack of codification, difficulties in the collection process or degraded
quality, other companies are willing to accept in their production process. The situation will be
possibly improved in the future, as codification applies to the newer models and car
manufacturers will incorporate recycled materials in the production line. Cooperation of
economic agents is vital, as plastic components have gained share in composition of new
vehicles.
The last phase of ELV processing is the shredding of the car shell. During the shredding
process, iron and a mixture of non-iron metals are recovered by magnetic separation.
Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR or “fluff”), consisting of rubber, glass, textiles, cabling,
plastics and remaining metals, is the residue that remains and can be 15-20% of average mass of
vehicle. ASR is about 15% plastic today but will increase to 30% when today's cars are
shredded. This fraction is currently disposed of in landfills. There has been a debate on the
content of dangerous substances in the light fraction and classification as 19 10 03* (mirror entry
to 19 10 04). Classification as a hazardous waste would have implications in the collection and
transfer and would require licensing for handling hazardous waste. Also, there would be a need
for a hazardous waste landfill, which is not the case in Romania. It is underlined at this point that
a thorough depollution of ELVs should be followed before shredding in order to exclude the
existence of dangerous compounds and demonstrate the generation of a non-hazardous waste.
The ASR energy recovery option is not very promising, since thermal treatment of ASR as it
is in a dedicated municipal waste incinerator would be classified as disposal. This has changed
under the new Waste Framework Directive and can be considered as energy recovery, but only
for incineration plants that exceed the set energy efficiency limits. Still, ASR is not
unproblematic to handle, as it is relatively fine-grained and not perfectly qualified for the
engineering of grates. A good mixture with coarse-grained waste and a ratio of 5- 10% seem to
be suitable not to cause technical problems.
At present, no waste incinerator operates in Romania. Cement companies are willing to
undertake waste as secondary fuel for co-incineration, provided that it meets the required
specifications, i.e. absence of chlorine and heavy metals. It is unknown whether ASR produced
meets the criteria set.
Over the last 10 years, activities and innovations related to recovering materials from shredder
residue for recycling have been increasing around the world. From a technical perspective, the
complexity of the composition of shredder residue and the entanglement of its numerous
constituents and contaminants hamper these efforts. The lack of sustainable markets for
materials that could be recovered from shredder residue is an additional hurdle to overcome.
Despite the difficulties, several technologies have reached an advanced state of development and
already few plants are operating in an industrial scale or are under commissioning across Europe
(such as for the Dutch ARN system, among others). The two areas that received most attention
are i) Separation of ASR into a non - fuel and a fuel fraction and thermal treatment of the latter
and ii) Recovery - recycling of polymers and are discussed in the next chapter.
The calculation for recycling percentage on ELV by shredders demonstrated the following
situations: shredder without any treatment of their fluff in a PST do not achieve 85% recycling
and energetic valorisation; shredders with a full PST-treatment of their fluff achieve 80%
recycling and 85% valorisation (even more with dismantling and depollution). Concluded that in
absence of PST treatment fulfilment of target is impossible, Romania encouraged the acquisition
of a PST plant by co-finance from Environmental Fund. The installation commissioned has five
steps for ASR sorting the last step is a sand sorting device, designed for aluminium scrap. This is
a very advanced technology, and is the first installation of this type put in function in Europe.
Having regard that the PST is functioning only from December 2008, we dont’t have the
practical results of using this technology reflected in the ELVs target attaining. For the quantity
of shredder residue generated, about 10.000 – 15.000 to/year, this PST plant may be
economically feasible to service all shredders in Romania.

5. PROSPECTS TOWARDS THE 2015 TARGETS AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW


WASTE DIRECTIVE 2008/98

At the end of 2008, EU has publiced the results of the recycling/ recovery rates for End of Life
Vehicles for 2006, that is the first target year (available via the webpage
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/waste/data/end_of_life). A mixed picture can
be observed, only few countries reached both recycling and recovery rates. Romania reported
77,1% and 80,3% respectively, which signifies the attempts that were intensified in the sector
during the period after the transposition of the Directive.
Two approaches can be envisaged for achieving the recycling /recovery rates: the first
treatment practice follows extensive dismantling of car parts. Since metals, typically taken as
75%, are automatically assumed to be recycled, it follows that a further 10% non-metal recycling
& energy recovery has to be achieved, through a combination of reuse of non-metal spare parts
and recycling/ energy recovery of tyres, plastics, liquids and glass. The second practice follows
only the elementary depollution step followed by separation of the shredding residue via a post
shredder technology. Material segregated before shredding produce clean, higher value
recyclates, while material recovered from post shredding depend on the presence of
contaminants but still find recycling and energy recovery applications. A significant cost is
associated with the dismantling time for manual separation of the small/ middle, non-easy to
remove parts. Post shredding technologies are highle automated and require large investments
and availability of sufficient input feed. At this point, with the high fluctuating working salaries,
recyclates market prices, fraction purity and availability of capital funds, it is difficult to decide
on the economic feasibility of the 2 methods. However it is argued that elevated recycling quotas
cannot be met by dismantling alone and post shredder technologies will gain importance in the
short future.
Currently, 8 post-shredder technologies have been developed and are operating at an
industrial or pilot scale. The processes are proprietary and claim to either mechanically sort
waste into different fractions that can be recycled or produce feedstocks for thermal treatment.
Particular separated waste streams are profitable and a suitable market has been found. The
fibrous material (textiles) can be used as a polymer substitute in the dewatering of sludge from
wastewater treatment plants in filter-presses. The fibers can be also gasified or directly
incinerated with energy recovery. Shredder sand is used as a “top-cover” material in landfills or
for the filling of galleries in mines. Some uses also exist as an additive in the production of brick
yards.
Plastics are considered to be a target stream in view of meeting the targets. The Association of
Plastics Manufacturers in Europe, concludes that mechanical recycling can only compete with
other recovery technologies when large, easily accessible, monomaterial plastic parts (such as
bumpers) are included. Recyclates generally do not achieve the technical performance of virgin
material. By comparison, eco-efficiency ratings for recovery technologies are generally on a
comparable level. Plastic granules can be used as a substitute for coal and heavy fuel oil for steel
production in furnaces, albeit at a high investment to modify the feed of substitute into the
furnace. Other applications include the gasification of granules to produce methanol or to
produce diesel in the Fischer-Tropsch Process, direct waste combustion or co-incineration in
cement kilns. Some possibilities also exist for mechanical recycling of the granules or as a
concrete aggregate.
Before a PST separation plant is commissioned, a market study has to be made. This study
must analyse the amount and quality of the inputs and the possibilities of selling the output. Of
great importance are the landfill gate fee and the incineration gate fee, in order for the PST
technology to be cost-competitive. Moreover, it is necessary to establish a market for the
secondary products and seek synergies with cement plants and steel furnace industry.
The feasibility of all PST technologies has to re-evaluated, in respect of the provisions of the
new Waste Directive 2008/98/EC and the definitions aiming to clarify EU-wide recycling
activities: “‘recycling’ means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed
into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the
reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into
materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations”. It is obvious that some
current industrial practices, such as coal substitution in blast furnaces and ethanol production no
longer account towards the recycling quotas. Also, use of inert material as landfill top cover is
regarded as “disposal”.
One of the new concepts of the new Waste Directive 2008/98/EC is end-of-waste, meaning
that certain specified waste shall cease to be waste when it has undergone a recovery, including
recycling, operation and complies with specific criteria to be developed in accordance with the
following conditions: the substance or object is commonly used for specific purposes, a market
or demand exists for such a substance or object, the substance or object fulfils the technical
requirements for the specific purposes and meets the existing legislation and standards applicable
to products and the use of the substance or object will not lead to overall adverse environmental
or human health impacts.
In this respect, waste which ceases to be waste shall also cease to be waste for the purpose of
the recovery and recycling targets set out in Directive 2000/53/EC when the recycling or
recovery requirements of that legislation are satisfied. For the purposes of reaching end-of-waste
status, a recovery operation may be as simple as the checking of waste to verify that it fulfills the
end-of-waste criteria.
Having regarded that for scrap metal the specific criteria were also set up (End-of –Waste
Criteria Final Report of JRC) and the metal content assumption for ELV is 75%, it could be
reconsidered the percent of 95% reuse and recovery for ELVs.
In view of this, it is foreseen that the 90%/95% recycling/recovery targets could hardly be
met, even by the progressed countries. Efforts should focus on how to produce pure polymer
fractions (polyolefins, ABS) suitable for recycling rather than a mixture of plastics. The
achievement of the Directive’s objectives depend to a large extent to the contribution of the
automotive industry, not only in designing cars that are easy to dismantle or eliminating heavy
metals, but also in undertaking used materials or spare parts for remanufacturing and cooperating
with the recycling sector in developing novel techniques. Further research may be postponed,
considering the fact that the financial crisis has seriously hit the industry.

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