Car Dismantlers

The Waste Management (End of Life Vehicles) Regulations 2006 (SI 282 of 2006) entered into force on 8 June 2006. In essence, the legislation establishes a free take-back for all types of end- of-life cars and light vans, as well as being intended to significantly improve the environmental performance of vehicle dismantling activities and cause additional recycling in this sector. Under the regulations, producers and authorised treatment facilities are required to meet new recovery and recycling targets for end-of-life vehicles of:

85%  reuse/recovery by average weight per vehicle deposited for appropriate treatment by 1 January 2006  ( to include 80% materials recycling) and

95% reuse/recovery by 1 January 2015 (to include 80% materials recycling).

Is the 85% reuse /recovery treated as a waste activity?
Virtually all of the requirements are enforced by local authorities with the EPA only having a peripheral role. This did not state that all activities in a dismantling yard are to be treated as a waste activity and all cars under ELV law are waste. If this is true vehicle dismantlers should be paid by government/ local authorities/ owner/holder to handle these vehicles because waste is worth nothing.

Authorised Vehicle Dismantlers

Mainly deal in selling parts of old cars.  We pay tax, rates and VAT on our business and give employment using parts of dismantled vehicles to repair other vehicles. Why are we paying VAT on parts if they are waste as there is no VAT on waste?

Any person with common sense could see that this is how we operate our business.  The same activities are carried out with old machinery, tractors trucks and other vehicles etc.  Any vehicle over 3500 kg was outside the Waste Management Act so parts of any vehicle over 3500 kg are not classed as waste according to the waste management Act 2006 (SI 282 of 2006), but all these vehicles carry approx. 3 times more liquids, such as oils, coolants etc than a car or small van. If a part has a value then this part should not be treated as waste.  There is a list of parts that make up a vehicle.

All these parts have a use.  It is not fair to call these parts waste.  The word waste is over used in dealing with vehicle dismantlers.  Dismantling can be unsightly to the ordinary person that fails to see the value of an old vehicle and the use of parts in keeping vehicles on the road.

Our view on waste permits

We vehicle dismantlers were led up the “garden path” in 2006.
Vehicle dismantlers were told that there would be a fee of €100 to €150 paid to them when they would take back a vehicle if they got a waste permit, but this was never paid. Was this because the ELV had a value and therefore was not waste?

Vehicles dismantlers went and got permits but they were not given any money for taking back vehicles, government changed their mind. Vehicle dismantlers had to put down tanks and concrete and take out various insurances. All this was done without any grants from government or any support from any local authorities such as County Councils. Every year since the waste management was imposed on dismantlers the law kept changing. They had to comply with the same law as large metal companies which collect hundreds of thousands tonnes of scrap metal every year. All permits from 1996-2008 were given without planning permission. Was this because the Local Authorities could not collect any fees from the motor producers if they had not licensed vehicle dismantlers with an ATF licence? In 2008 any person renewing a permit had to have planning permission, permit holders were not notified of this before the law was passed.

There was no allowance made for those who had been legally operating prior to this change of law, very strict new laws were put in force. Local Authorities imposed a monitoring fee on permit holders of €750 then this was upped to €1000 and at present it is €750, this was another fee on top of everything else. This was totally unfair to permit holders who had spent large amounts of money on their sites to hold a permit.  All their hard work was for nothing, they were now being taken to court for working without a permit and fined large amounts of money and even sent to prison. Back in the old days scrap metal accumulated from dismantled vehicles was worth nothing. In 2008 scrap metal was worth large amounts of money, so a large number of people were cashing in on this metal boom such as GAA sports clubs and any other fundraiser events.

The government and EPA and local authorities turned a blind eye to these events- this is in total odds with strict conditions that were imposed on vehicle dismantlers.  Michael Owens from the EPA stated that collection of scrap metal is a waste activity but if this is true, why did the GAA and other sports clubs and fundraisers who were collecting scrap metal, including cookers, washing machines, fridges, microwave ovens, oil tanks, cars, old machinery etc. not have to inform any local authorities or have to apply for any sort of licence to hold these events? There is no evidence shown of any licence granted. Local authorities do not work Saturdays, Sundays, or bank holidays but all GAA sports clubs collections of scrap metal called scrap Saturdays were held on days the local authorities were not working so there is no evidence of any monitoring being carried out on these events.

When we asked the Environment Section of some Co. Councils about these events they stated that the GAA and sports clubs did not have to notify the County Council where there was a WCP operator used, but we saw no evidence of such operators being used. The County Council and EPA allowed these collections to go ahead without notifying the council or applying for any licence. There was no evidence of an application advertised on local papers. The events were advertised on posters and leaflets so council officers should have been aware of these events happening in their locality and should have stopped them.  Any person holding a waste permit has to, by law, notify the Local Authorities if they want to work out of office hours or on bank holidays etc. Why are there different laws imposed on different people and businesses? It seems that the word waste is not used in every case. But when executive engineers from the County Councils come on a permit holder’s site, or a site that has held a permit, everything is treated as waste and he has no problem quoting the letter of the law to the permit holder. If there is a waste management law, why can the GAA and other sports clubs collecting scrap either for fundraising or charities, do so without a licence. Are the local authorities advising vehicles dismantlers to move into a green field and provide a skip for the purpose of waste collection so we could operate without a permit? Or should vehicles dismantlers only work Saturdays and Sundays?
Government and Local Authorities and the EPA have no problem in changing the letter of the law or overlooking the letter of the law when the GAA and other sports clubs or any person who wants to collect scrap metal plus all types of vehicles for fundraising events but they make sure that the authorised vehicle dismantlers operate fully by the letter of the law and have no problem taking them to court for non-compliance and fining them large sums of money or prison sentences. This has been the case for the last number of years.

Executive engineers in the environment section working for the local authorities, state that, under the Waste Management Act 1996-2005 (amended in 2007) all parts sold from end of life vehicles are waste until they are fitted to another vehicle. But under the Waste Management Act all waste is to be accompanied by appropriate WCP documentation. Vehicle dismantlers sell parts such as engines, gear boxes, mirrors, doors, tyres, drive shafts, batteries, hubs etc. for reuse to cover their costs to operate their businesses. Most of these parts are sold to the ordinary public plus garages so in hindsight we cannot sell parts to these people because they have not got a waste collection permit to transport the parts. So if this is true all vehicle dismantlers may close their businesses.  So should vehicle dismantlers be compensentated for the loss of earnings or hand back their waste permits because waste is worth nothing?
End of Life Vehicles
What is the meaning of end of life vehicles? Is it no longer fit for the purpose it was designed for? A motor vehicle has a lot of functional parts. All of these parts have to function for the vehicle to operate so if one of these parts fails to function, does this mean the complete vehicle is now end of life and is to be discarded as waste and is of no value or can functional parts be salvaged from the vehicle and fitted to another vehicle for reuse called “motor salvage”?

Discarding of vehicle by the holder/owner:
Are they discarding the vehicle as waste and pay the cost to discard it or can the person receiving the vehicle collect it for free and salvage all functional parts to cover his cost and therefore the vehicle is not yet waste. All vehicles received from ’96-’07 were accepted at vehicle dismantler yards with a certificate of disposal. In January 2007, all dismantlers were issued with a book of certificates of destruction. Should the Local Authorities have issued these certs to vehicle dismantlers as certificate of destruction means the vehicle is put beyond use, so is the vehicle now waste??

Should the dismantlers hand the log books to the metal companies collecting the shells and surplus components from the dismantling yards and they fill the certificate of destruction  because it is they who are putting the vehicle beyond use and they can now call the vehicle waste if they want to?
Vehicle Write Off by Insurance Company

All vehicles are assessed in 3 categories:
a) repaired by insurance company and put back on the road
b) uneconomical to repair by insurance company but can be put back on the road by some other person
c) total write-off and cannot go back on the road and is sold as an ELV.

The vehicle is assessed on market value on the day it was crashed so the salvage price is based on the damage done to the vehicle and on the value of undamaged parts which the dismantler can salvage for re-use. The vehicle dismantler pays the salvage value to the insurance company. Why, then, do the executive engineers working for the local authorities class all vehicles as waste when they inspect authorised dismantling yards? If it is waste, the insurance company should sell the vehicle according to its weight and not the value of the parts.

Salvage price on this vehicle, 2008 Mitsubishi Pajero, was 2250 euro.

Salvage price of this 2009 Audi A4 was 2250 euro.

These prices clearly show that the cars are valued for their parts and are not waste.

Under the Waste Management Act at present, the vehicle dismantlers cannot operate their businesses, because everything they have on their premises is treated as waste and they can be prosecuted for selling waste to the public.

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