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Auto Recycling Nederland



More than a thousand cars are dismantled in the Netherlands every day and only some of the materials can be re-used, i.e. various components and metal parts that can be processed into new steel. This still leaves around 250 to 300 kilos of waste fr om each wreck. In aggregate terms, this means that every year more than 100 million kilos are being added to the country's "waste mountain" from this source alone. The Dutch automobile industry decided to take the initiative to call a halt to the waste mo untain.


Objective - 86% recycled in the year 2000

Auto Recycling Nederland (ARN) was set up in October 1993 by RAI (car manufacturers and importers), STIBA (car dismantlers), BOVAG (garages), SVN (shredder companies) and FOCWA (damage repair companies). These sector organizations were determined to p ool their resources in order to tackle the problem of waste. The automobile industry has set itself the target of keeping at least 86% of the materials that compose cars out of the waste stream by recycling them. This will easily amount to a halving in th e volume, i.e. around 50 million kilos less every year. That means 50 million kilos of materials such as glass, rubber and plastics are available for recycling by industry. However, that still leaves a residual waste stream - effectively, the cars' crushe d remains - for which we still lack a technical solution. We aim to achieve this objective of 86% in the year 2000. When we say "recycling" we differentiate between re-using complete components (product recycling) and materials such as steel, glass, plastics and suchlike (material recycling).


Material recycling - the approach

Product recycling has always been the domain of the dismantling companies and is already so well developed in the Netherlands that little more can be done to stimulate it further. Supply and demand for components are practically in equilibrium. Eve n so, a great deal of material cars is left behind even after product recycling. Hence the emphasis Auto Recycling Nederland is placing on material recycling, for which there is still a great deal of unexploited potential.

We have devised a method of significantly increasing the volume of materials recycled. The essence of this approach is that it uses market mechanisms. Private companies collect the cars - from their last owners - and dismantle them in an environmentall y responsible manner, with no extra costs for the owner. The scheme is financed on the basis of a "waste disposal fee" by first-time buyers, payable when the car's first Dutch registration is issued. The scheme is commercially viable because premiums are allocated to dismantling and recycling activities that would otherwise not be profitable.

Certified car dismantling companies who are a member of Auto Recycling Nederland are contractually obliged to dismantle certain materials and have them disposed of. In the same contract Auto Recycling Nederland is obliged to pay a premium for activitie s conducted for this purpose. Collectors and processors selected by Auto Recycling Nederland are bound by contract to accept the dismantled materials and reprocess these to a high quality standard. Under the same contract, Auto Recycling Nederland underta kes to pay a premium for all such activities performed.


Auto Recycling Nederland BV

For the administration of the waste disposal fees and the allocation of the premiums, a special organization was set up: Auto Recycling Nederland.

ARN was founded by the following organizations from the automobile industry:


- RAI (car manufacturers and importers)

- BOVAG (garages)

- FOCWA (damage repair companies)

- STIBA (car dismantlers)

- SVN (shredder companies)


Auto Recycling Nederland supplies a number of services aimed at facilitating numerous recycling activities. The company acts as an intermediary between market players such as dismantling and recycling companies, provides information on current dismantl ing and recycling methods as well as the premium scheme, and conducts research into new recycling opportunities.


Legal and corporate structure

Private limited liability (Auto Recycling Nederland BV) was chosen since this form was adjudged the most suitable for addressing the market's everyday needs vigorously and credibly. All the company's shares are owned by the foundation Auto & Recycling. This structure guarantees harmonious decision-making between the founder-members in what is a non-profit initiative with a social objective since it enables the foundation to deter mine the main thrust of policy. Each of the founder bodies has a seat on the foundation's Executive Committee. The foundation is advised by the Advisory Board, on which the government and other interested parties such as environmental and consumer groups are represented. The foundation also appoints a Supervisory Board that is charged with advising on and supervising policy implementation by Auto Recycling Nederland.


The waste disposal fee

The fee is enshrined in the Environmental Management Act and has been declared to be of universal applicability by the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment for the period 1 January 1995 to 1 January 1998. It is paid on every car by its first buyer (it is added to the car's purchase price) when the first Dutch registration is issued. Auto Recycling Nederland oversees the entire process, thus promoting an approach that is environmentally responsible, efficient and cost-effective. The fee was set at 250 guilders per car at the scheme's launch on 1 January 1995. For far less than 1% of the average purchase price of a new car, therefore, what appeared to be an insoluble problem has been reduced to manageable proportions.

The premium

Disbursement of the premiums will be made only after administrative verification of the dismantlement or recycling activities has taken place. It is Auto Recycling Nederland's job to ascertain which of these activities should be stimulated on a pri ority basis and determine the premium payable in each case - from the dismantling of plastic bumpers to glass remelting. The premiums are set at a level that makes the activities concerned an attractive proposition for the various companies. They claim th e premiums by submitting administrative data documenting that they have in fact carried out the activities. Payment will be made when Auto Recycling Nederland is satisfied of this. Premiums are based on quantity by weight of dismantled or reprocessed mate rial, and are not set as a lump sum per dismantled car.


Procedural and commercial structure

The creation of a network of recognised dismantling companies is central to the work of Auto Recycling Nederland. Companies qualify for the scheme only by complying with a number of objective standards. The necessary certification process is the re sponsibility of the Certification Board, which contracts out this work to various bodies such as the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) of Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam. Companies that attain certification are eligible for pa rticipation in the scheme and may apply for the premiums. In exchange the companies undertake to accept wrecks, dismantling them in accordance with the standards and issuing the owner with an indemnity certificate. This document exempts the owner from car tax and other legal obligations such as insurance and the periodic car test (APK).


P.O. Box 74710
1070 BS Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Telephone: 020 - 6613181 (+31-206613181)
Telefax : 020 - 6613191 (+31-206613191)