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More Euro insanity? - Richard Hall
Just read an article in this month's Classic Cars magazine about a new EU directive (coming into force 1 January 2002, the same day as the one I wrote about a couple of weeks ago). According to Classic Cars, scrapyards will be replaced by Approved Treatment Centres, where cars will be 'environmentally cleansed' before being crushed. According to a Department of Transport spokesman, 'Vehicle dismantlers will be replaced by holding yards, where cars to be scrapped are taken before being moved to ATCs. There will be no provision at these yards to dismantle vehicles.' And the cost of scrapping a car is likely to increase from £50 to £200 plus.

Surely that can't be right? I haven't seen any evidence of any of my local breakers preparing to shut up shop, and what about all those breakers offering mail-order spares in the back of the Auto Trader? If the report is right, a lot of businesses are going to have to close down at the end of next month, and there will be no way to buy used spares. Plus even more cars dumped by the side of the road. Anyone know any more?
Re: More Euro insanity? - Andy
We should be getting used to these directives now. They have one aim - to make it harder, dearer and more frustrating to own and run a car. One of the core policies of the EU is a car-free culture, in which everyone (except government ministers and a few rich friends) drags around on public transport. When we are all lined up outside the greengrocer's waiting for our daily allowance of cabbage stalks, they will have succeeded in turning this once proud, independent country of ours into a 60's communist state.
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - ChrisR
They are shifting the cost of owning/running motor vehicles onto those who run them, and that's not necessarily a bad thing in the long run. One example. Despite being less efficient, long distance bus journeys are cheaper than train journeys because the railway pays for all of the maintenance on the railway system: the repairs, policing, upgrading, safety inspections (far more rigorous than any MOT, I can tell you) etc. etc. Bus companies pay a few quid a year in road tax no matter how many miles their buses travel, or where they go. The railways (even more so since privatisation) have to divide their costs by the number of passengers (and the subsidy, though large, is a small fraction of the total), whereas the road network is paid for by everyone (because everyone uses it, one way or another, all the time, whether they drive or not, just as everyone uses the railways too). Heavy road users are therefore effectively subsidised by light road users. All that is happening is that the balance is shifting, and naturally heavy road users don't like it. 'twas ever thus.

On top of that, the new law on scrapping is to force manufacturers into making cars that are easier to recycle, and to prevent land being contaminated by oils, metals and so on that come from rotting vehicles. This is a good thing, but it will cost us more. The system isn't perfect, but for a cleaner, more pleasant environment, I personally think it's worth it.

Steps back to a safe distance and waits...

Chris
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - nick
I follow your logic Chris but I think that the point being made by Richard is that if any new measures prevent the simplest form of recycling i.e. dismantling and re-using parts, then those measures are a backward step. - Sorry about the long sentence.
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - me
hardly anyone in this country pays for "utility services" at point of use

water
roads
trains

the price you pay bears little or no resemblence to what it costs

road users are heavily tax positive, ie they contribute more to the public coffers than the public coffers pay out to help the road use...
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Guy Lacey
Hmmmmm - quite right ChrisR.

I'm afraid we as car owners have to take the responsibility that comes with it. That means we can't buy a car, run it and then expect other people to pay for the disposal of it. With opportunity comes responsibility and cars don't just "appear" and, likewise, they don't just "disappear" [Cardiff excluded]

Rather than lamenting the demise of the scrapyard - pray tell, Richard, what you would do with a heap of low grade steel, carcinogenic used engine oil, asbestos brake linings, lead-acid battery, corrosive brake fluid, non-biodegradable and self-combusting tyres, thick/gloopy/cadmium full CV joint grease - amongst other "Special Wastes". Do you realise the Environment Agency charge £25 just to cover the paperwork involved in the disposal of these materials?

Industry pays millions of pounds to dispose of wastes far less harmful than those contained in a motor car and it's about time the consumer paid - don't you think?

[GL - now buried deep in his environmentally friendly bunker eating lentils!]
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Guy Lacey
I suspect it's something, also, to do with the implementation of the IPPC (Implemented Pollution Prevention Control) that demands owners of businesses from Pig Farmers to Paper Mills have to lodge a banker's draft or similar equivalent to the value required for remediation of the site to its former glory. Just think of the cost of remediation of the contaminated land at your average scrapper.

Now try to run a scrapper as a "Going Concern" - not easy is it . . . . especially when you are expected to pay your customer as they think they are doing *you* a favour.

The industry I'm involved in has got it's act together! Any user of packaging has to pay a levy that is paid to those who take the effort to recycle that material - the, Producer Responsibility Obligations. Basically, Mr McVities or Mr Heinz, etc uses a lot of cardboard. We then collect that waste, recycle it and make it back into boxes. For that, we receive a Packaging Recovery Note.

It's about time the Motor Industry did the same and subsidised the "scrappers" in the same fashion. Imagine having to *pay* to use a paper or bottle bank?
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Jonathan
Guy

Its actually Integrated PPC.

But you are correct.

Any new industry which is regulated under IPPC must undertake a site investigation to determine the condition of the ground on the site before they lay a single brick. They must also undertake one at the end of operations and they are responsible for the clean up of the land to its former state. My job involves getting companies to clean up land (or if the company cannot be found, the poor unfortunate householder who lives in the house built on the former printworks or whatever).

Not very motor related, but fascinating.

Regards

Jonathan
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Tomo
I tend to agree with Andy.

Fortunately vehicles last quite a long time nowadays, and mine should just about last me out. If they get very decrepit I'll find out who my MEP is (I know he's of THAT lot) and leave them to him in my will. That will save me going to Brussels!
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Andrew Hamilton
Going to make it very cheap to buy older cars. Guess those trading up will only be too relieved to have them taken off their hands for free. For those of us sticking to pre-CAT era cars motoring will be cheap. Only time consuming effort is in cutting up the rusty remains and dumping it at the local rubbish dump bit by bit.
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - David Millar
Andrew

My very thoughts. With one of our cars looking uneconomical to keep on the road but with many good running parts and future classic status in mind, I have been pondering how to retain the useful parts while disposing of the fairly scant rusting shell. There appears to be no reason why, instead of paying for it to be uplifted, I spend the cash instead on a good cutting tool and remove it bit by bit to the local council tip. It is, after all, household waste.

David
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - THe Growler
I'd be tempted to drive the thing to Brussels, leave it in a carpark and hitch home.
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Independent Observer
So what is the car tax on a new car: 20%? Plus VAT. Plus VAT on the car tax!

Do you get that on other environmentally unfriendly products?
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - robert
There is no car tax on new cars - only VAT. car tx was scrapped quite a few years ago - HJ can probably name the date!
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Independent Observer
Thanks Robert - I'd totally missed that :-(

See, some people can admit to being wrong, unlike some people, eg that ranting loony bogush who pops up from time to time and just can't accept that he's totally in the wrong, no matter how many people tell him ;-)
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Bogus h
Wanna make something of it?
Re: More Euro insanity? Depends. - Richard Hall
Nick is right. I have no problem with disposing of scrap cars in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. What I am objecting to is a system which, unless the DoT spokesman was being quoted very much out of context, is designed with no provision for selling second-hand parts from the scrap vehicles before they are crushed. And although ChrisR is right to point out that the costs are being shifted onto vehicle users, it isn't the relatively well-off in their new Mercedes, Peugeots (or even 10 year old Audi Coupes) who are paying, but those on low incomes, who depend on a cheap old car to get to work and now are faced with more expense running the car (can't buy used parts any more) and more expense disposing of it when it finally dies. In the absence of public transport, what are these people supposed to do - go on the dole so they don't need a car any more?
 

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