EU investigates why scrappage car numbers don’t add upWednesday, May 18, 2011 14:11
THE EUROPEAN Commission is investigating why the number of certificates of destruction for end-of-life vehicles in Ireland falls far short of the number of vehicles coming off the road.
According to the commission, statistics from Ireland and several other member states indicate that there are a “significant number” of vehicles the whereabouts of which are unknown as they have not been issued with a certificate of destruction. Such a certificate must be issued by authorised treatment facilities to prove that vehicles have been disposed of in a responsible manner.
The commission says disparities in the figures can be attributed to unreported exports of used cars and the destruction of cars in a manner which is not compliant with a year 2000 end-of-life vehicle directive. “The commission is currently looking into this issue and will request additional information to the member states concerned,” a spokeswoman said.
According to estimates contained in a 2009 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, 127,612 end-of-life vehicles came off Irish roads in 2008.
However, in the same year just 14,762 certificates of destruction were issued – just 12 per cent of all those vehicles. In its waste report, the EPA points to an 82 per cent recovery rate for 2008.
It reaches this figure by adding the quantity of materials recovered by authorised treatment facilities to that coming out of the country’s shredders and dividing this by the tonnage of the estimated number of end-of-life vehicles arising in that year.
But Paul Devlin, manager of Finglas-based authorised treatment facility Greener Metal Recycling, says it is impossible to ascertain the true number of vehicles going through the shredders. “There is no way to prove recyclability post-shredding – the only way to do so is to enforce the certificate of destruction system,” he says.
The Department of the Environment has said it has taken steps to address the issue of end-of-life vehicles, including the establishment of a regulatory working group comprising personnel from the department, the EPA, the National Transfrontier Shipment Office and local authorities to address issues including unauthorised scrappage and the export of used vehicles.
A department spokesman also said a major programme of enforcement by local authorities this year is showing a progressive reduction in the numbers of unregulated scrappage facilities.
According to figures from the department, the number of issued certificates of destruction rose to 21,883 in 2009 and 44,469 in 2010, although the increase between the two years is largely due to the scrappage scheme under which around 17,500 vehicles were disposed of in authorised treatment facilities as required by the scheme.
Since 2006, it is a legal requirement for end-of-life vehicles in Ireland to be disposed of at an authorised treatment facility which then issues a certificate of destruction as per the 2000 European directive. The motor industry funds the ELV system, which costs around €3 million annually.
The commission is not satisfied the directive had been fully implemented, and that if necessary actions were not taken, it may take Ireland back to court and request financial penalties.
A spokesman for the Society for the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) said it had held a meeting with the Department and the EPA last week at which both agencies underlined their determination to address this issue.
Irish Times – Pamela Duncan