UK stalls on EU directive for recycling old cars
LONDON - Britain has made little progress in solving a gridlock between car makers and recyclers on how to dispose of scrapped cars under a new European law.
Scrap recyclers and motor manufacturers are still no closer to agreeing on how the European Union directive on end-of-life vehicles will be organised or funded, even though it is due to come into force in six weeks\' time.
Under the new law, which will apply in the UK from April 21, any recycleable part of a vehicle that is no longer roadworthy must be recovered to cut the amount of potentially harmful materials going to landfill, to protect the environment.
For the first time, the cost of recycling will be shouldered by the carmarkers, according to the directive.
The logjam between carmakers and their recycling counterparts echoes the trouble Britain has had preparing for the launch of other European environmental laws on recycling refrigerators and mobile telephones.
The UK\'s Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have been in continuous consultation with the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) and the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, but as yet have not decided how to make the car directive work.
David Hulse, secretary general of the BMRA said: \"We\'re still wrestling with the same issues - the need to clarify the treatment requirements with DEFRA, the need to clarify the funding with the DTI and for the DTI to agree with the motor manfucturers on their level of contribution. We as an industry can\'t get on and get the job done,\" he said.
A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry said:
\"They (industry players) are waiting for us to decide who will pay and I hope we will have made a decision soon. Even if we\'re a bit late hopefully we can make some progress before then (April 21).\" However, this new law is unlikely to cause old cars to pile up on the roadside in the same way as another new EU recycling law - for goods containing ozone-depleting chemicals - that Britain is still struggling to meet while the pile of old fridges steadily mounts around the country. \"It\'s business as usual and the scrapped cars are subject to a different regime to the fridges,\" the BMRA\'s Hulse said.
\"I\'m not expecting a rush of cars dumped at the side of the road. They are dumped, but for different reasons.\"
The DTI spokesman said that the environment ministry will issue a consultation paper this month on the guidelines for authorised treatment plants.
But industry players said this would only offer a small step forward and would not get the UK any closer to meeting its April deadline.
Steve Franklin, head of environmental affairs at the UK Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: \"We have had some discussions with the BMRA and I think we understand our positions a bit better than we previously did so that\'s moved a bit ahead, but as far as a definitive solution goes, no, we haven\'t got one.\"
\"The (UK) legislation won\'t be in place (in time) because we haven\'t got the permitting side ready...but it\'s a step in the right direction,\" he said.
Story by Amanda Cooper
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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