Tue, Jan 25, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Car recycling drive to be launched

CAR CARE The joint initiative between the EPA and the MOTC will require car owners to dispose of unwanted vehicles appropriately so spare material can be reused

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Car owners will no longer be allowed to discard unwanted vehicles if they fail to provide documents showing their cars will be recycled appropriately, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said last week.

The EPA will be working with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) on the recycling project, which will be launched on July 1 this year. For car owners' convenience, more than 30 motor vehicle stations supervised by the MOTC, will provide space for the establishment of recycling unwanted vehicles.

EPA officials said that less than 30 percent of old vehicles were recycled. That means millions of used cars went unrecycled and often end up abandoned or back on the market and sold to buyers unaware of the vehicle's age.

The EPA hopes to boost vehicle recycling to 40 percent of all unwanted cars by the end of the year.

"We hope the recycling rate will eventually hit 80 percent in the years to come," Chen Lian-ping (陳聯平), executive secretary of the recycling fund management committee told the Taipei Times.

Chen also said that the EPA's goal is to recycle about one million motor vehicles annually.

Owners are allowed to recycle components of their vehicles after filling out reports to the EPA's audit checklist, Chen said.

EPA officials said that technicians would dismantle old motor vehicles and recycle usable components. Beginning next year, the EPA will run a database which consumers can use to search for used components of scooters or cars they would like to purchase. Components of a vehicle which cannot be recycled will be sent to factories which will strip the parts for their base material, such as iron.

Chen said that increasing the amount of recycled vehicles would also increase the amount of reused iron, which could be treated and reused.

EPA statistics show that the amount of iron recycled and reused in other products has dropped dramatically to 19,000 tonnes last year, from 55,000 tonnes in 2002. EPA officials attributed this to the poor quality of recycled iron. The EPA noted that about 30,000 tonnes of treated iron material has been refused by steel factories.

To address this problem, the EPA has deiced to offer subsidies to manufacturers who use recycled iron if the quality meets a certain standard.

"The less the impurities of recycled iron materials, the lower the amount of treatment needed," Chen said.

Three existing facilities which dismantle unwanted vehicles have been upgraded to further ensure the purity of recycled iron.

Recycling plant operators have welcomed the iron recycling initiative. Chen Fu-sung (陳福松), who runs the Green Environment Engineering Corp in Kaohsiung County, said the NT$1 million worth of upgrades he put into his plant would be worthwhile.

"The value of iron we recycle has doubled from NT$4 per kilogram to NT$8 per kilogram," Chen Fu-sung said.

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