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STEVE GHOSLEY ON THE CAR-SCRAPPING SCHEME THAT HELPS RID OUR ROADS OF SMOKING OLD BANGERS - IF ONLY EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT IT!
Arrangements to ensure that old cars are removed from streets and recycled to meet the highest ever standards are not widely known about due to poor public awareness by successive governments.
Up to two million old bangers reach the end of the road each year in the UK. To solve the problem of what then happens to them, arrangements are now in place to allow unwanted old cars to be returned to their manufacturers or to an authorised scrap yard that will ensure proper environmental treatment. But did you know about it? Of course you didn't.
The EU's End-of-Life Vehicles Directive requires manufacturers to offer a free takeback service for every car ever made, and to ensure that 85% of their contents are recycled. Old cars can also be taken to one of 1,200 Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATF) licensed by the Environment Agency that are to ensure that pollutants such as oil and brake fluids are removed before scrapping. Last owners are then issued with a Certificate of Destruction to prove that the vehicle has been dealt with according to the law and that road tax is no longer due.
These days, we are all now very much aware of the need to protect our environment and the requirement to recycle as many manufactured products as we can wherever possible. When it comes to getting rid of our old unwanted vehicles old fashioned scrap yards are rapidly becoming a thing of the past and the likelihood of encountering piles of rusting vehicles stacked up high will then be very much reduced. Environmental protection legislation brought in by the government has changed the way we deal with vehicles that have come to the end of their useful lives.
Today, vehicles need to be taken to Authorised Treatment Facilities often known as ATF 'End of Life Vehicle Centres' which must comply with the requirements of the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) and Environmental Permitting regulations. The Environment Agency in England and Wales licences Authorised Treatment Facilities to de-pollute vehicles to standards set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
However, there are companies that will scrap your end of life vehicle free of charge and pay you the scrap value for it too, and with metal price soaring that's certainly worth taking into consideration. Reputable licensed companies such as these will transport your vehicle safely to an authorised treatment facility to be recycled in the correct environmentally-friendly manner.
However, you should ensure that companies carry a Waste Carrier's Licence. The driver collecting your scrap vehicle should carry the licence on them and a Certificate of Destruction should be issued to you by post within 12 days of your vehicle being taken to the ATFcentre. Remember that it's really not worth the risk driving an illegal un-roadworthy car to the centre.
You also need to be aware that there are a few rogue operators out there who will pay high prices for cars but take advantage of the fact that they are still registered under their owner's name on the logbook. Some vehicles may well be put back on the road in an illegal state so previous owners end up with parking tickets or speeding fines when they have been totally innocent of any crime and nowhere near the vehicle that they believed to be scrapped.
It's therefore vital that the company you give your vehicle to is fully licensed and legitimate. Only ATF 'End of Life Vehicle Centres' are able to issue a Certificate of Destruction.
Finally, remember that although scrap prices are currently high, if a price seems too good to be true it probably is, and that the extra money may not be worth the hassle, especially when parking tickets and speeding fines that come through your door after you thought you had disposed of your vehicle will be your responsibility.
If you have any doubts always take all company details, including the registration number of visiting vehicle and ask to see their valid Waste Carrier's licence. In addition, ask your visitors which Authorised Treatment Facility they intend to use to dispose your old vehicle and make sure that they confirm it will be legally taken off the road.