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Is There an Eco-friendly Way to Dispose of My Car at the End of Its Life?

Your car has served you faithfully for many years. It’s reliably taken you and your partner and children to work, school and on holidays, through wind and snow, rain and sun, without ever once complaining or breaking down – even when you’ve filled it with rubbish and taken it to the local dump. In return for many thousands of miles of reliability, you’ve had it checked, serviced and MOT tested regularly, kept it fuelled, oiled and watered, and occasionally treated it to a new pine-scented air-freshener. You’ve even lovingly washed and polished it from-time-to-time. It’s become part of the family; like a trusted friend who’s always been there for you.

But in recent months, it’s been becoming clear that the high mileage has taken its toll. Your vehicle has started wheezing and creaking, and needs a bit of coaxing before it will get going on cold mornings. Reluctantly, you’ve decided that your long-suffering car is nearing the end of its life. And you’ve fallen in love with a sporty new Chrysler Crossfire that will be perfect for you and your partner, now that the children have left home. So how can you dispose of old faithful in a sympathetic, eco-friendly way – without its life ending ignominiously, in a car-crusher?

If it’s a Chrysler, or a vehicle from another environment-friendly manufacturer, the problem is easily solved. Since 3rd March 2005, EU-Directive 2000/53/EG concerning the take-back of end-of-life vehicles has been implemented in the UK, through end-of-life vehicle legislation and its relevant provisions.

Under this legislation, a passenger vehicle with a maximum of nine seats, or a commercial vehicle with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes, that has been registered after 1st July 2002, may be returned for a free-of-charge take-back, provided that it fulfils the following criteria:

1. All significant components, such as the engine, chassis, bodywork, catalytic converter or electronic control unit are present in the vehicle

2. There is no waste in the vehicle

3. The vehicle is or was registered in a member state of the European Union for a minimum duration of one month

4. The vehicle registration documents are submitted with the vehicle

In order to achieve simple, eco-friendly disposal of end-of-life vehicles, Chrysler maintains a nationwide network of take-back stations. These will take back a used Chrysler free of charge, and provide a certificate of destruction. This confirms that the vehicle was properly disposed of, and enables the owner to legally deregister it. A certificate of destruction may only be issued by a certified Automotive Treatment Facility; a certified and authorised acceptance point; or a manufacturer-approved take-back station.

So what happens after a Chrysler take-back station receives a vehicle for end-of-life disposal? Firstly, it is de-polluted according to legal requirements, which ensure that all of the vehicle’s operating fluids (e.g. oil, brake fluid) are removed and recycled. Subsequently the reusable parts and recoverable materials are dismantled. Recoverable materials such as glass, tyres, and large plastic parts, etc. are fed into separate recycling systems. The remaining bodywork is shredded, separated into different categories, and, as far as possible, fed back into the economic cycle. It looks like the days of scrap-yards filled with rusting heaps of old vehicles are numbered!

For more information about Chrysler’s end-of-life vehicle take-back system, or details of the Chrysler range, visit http://www.chrysler.co.uk/

By: Sally Jones

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