ELV Recycling

What is an End of Life Vehicle (ELV)?

A vehicle that has come to the end of its useful life. End Of Life Vehicles may then be broken down into two categories; Natural and Premature E LV’s. A "Natural" ELV is one that has come to the end of the road due to natural factors, on average they are 13 years old. A "Premature"ELV, on the other hand, is one that is not economicly viable to repair.


Environmental overview

Every year end of life vehicles are responsible for millions of tonnes of waste. An ELV is by weight made up of  approximately 70 % ferrous metal and 5 % non-ferrous metal. Vehicle Shredding  is a process that separates metals from non metals, it is therefore straight forward to recycle 75% of a vehicle .Plastic, rubber and glass etc make up the remaining 25 % and an unexceptable proportion of  this has, until the introduction of the ELV directive, become shredder residues (SR) most of which is land filled. Clearly this has a hugely negative impact on the environment and further more is not sustainable.

In order to ensure the environmental harmonization of all sectors involved in the processing of end of life vehicles, communication is of utmost importance. By involving all sectors such as the manufacturing, dismantling and shredding industries, issues such as product design and the materials used in the production of these vehicles, will ultimately translate into gains for all parties involved. If the manufacturer were to use a material that was easily stripped and recycled, the dismantling and shredding industries would be better equipped in handling the product produced.


ELV Directive

In order to reduce landfilled waste from ELVs and to promote recycleability both from existing ELVs and at the design stage of new vehicles, the EU has drafted the ELV directive which in turn has been adopted into Irish waste legislation. It stipulates that;
  • All End Of Life Vehicles are treated only by Authorized Treatment Facilities.
  • Vehicles shall be recycled at no cost to the  last owner
  • A target to be met of  85%  reuse or recovery rate with at least 80% reused or recycled.
    Vehicle producers to limit or significantly reduce the use of hazardous substances in the production of new vehicles, vehicle components and actively pursues and promotes the recyclability of their vehicles. Every End Of Life Vehicle must go through a process of de-pollution prior to dismantling, recycling and disposal.


    What is an Authorized Treatment Facility?

    An authorized treatment facility (ATF) is a recycling facility which has met the minimum technical requirements of the ELV directive and has been granted a Waste Permit or Waste Licence.


    Summerhill Spares core principles

    Environmental responsibility is integral to our business and what we stand for. Acting responsibly also helps us to achieve our long-term goals. Summerhill Spares stresses environmentally sound working principles,seeking to achieve the following in order of priority:

  • Optimal reuse
  • Optimal recycling
  • Minimal landfill

    ELV owners are responsible for ensuring they dispose of their vehicle in accordance with the  ELV Directive. It is important that these vehicles are only destroyed at an Authorised Treatment Facility so that they can be recycled legally while maximising re-use and without causing harm to the environment. In order to meet the reuse/recycling targets of the ELV Directive every vehicle which is scrapped at Summerhill Spares must go through the following process:


    Destruction certificate

    A Certificate of Destruction is issued for every vehicle we process. This insures that once we receive a vehicle, it is de-registered and is no longer the responsibility of the vehicles owner. This document is issued by the department of the environment and is in triplicate form. The owner, Summerhill spares and the national vehicle records department each have a copy.



    In the first step of the treatment, we de-pollute the vehicle. The ELV is drained of all environmentally hazardous fluids, such as oil’s, brake-fluid, coolant, petrol etc., and the fluids are re-used or stored in appropriate containers before being sent to authorised companies for optimal recycling.


    Removal of hazardous components

    In this step, all other components that are hazardous are removed, such as batteries, mercury switch’s, tyres, catalytic converters and air bags and as above, are stored appropriately before being recycled.


    Removal of components for reuse

    Components and parts which are suitable for re-use are then carefully tested, removed, labelled and logged on to our computer before being placed in stock . After this the shell or body of the vehicle is sent on to a shredder for further materials recycling.

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