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Vehicle Recycling.
Focusing on Sustainability.
Sustainability is a key word at every point in the
BMW Groups process chain, from the development
of energy-saving alternative vehicle concepts and
environmentally sound production processes to
environmentally friendly recycling.
The BMW Group acknowledges that used cars are a
particularly important source of secondary raw materials
and by closing the gaps in the material cycle through
recycling, we aim to make a meaningful contribution
to the conservation of natural resources.
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Longstanding Involvement in
Environmental Protection.
Sustainable Business.
The BMW Group has been actively involved in efficient recycling concepts for many
years. The aim of our recycling process is to reclaim resources and materials con-
tained in vehicles quickly and comprehensively in order to fill the gaps in material
cycles and thus to use resources as sparingly and efficiently as possible.
Protecting the environment and natural resources.
At the beginning of the 1970’s, the BMW Group anchored environmental protection policy within
its organization. Sustainable business is a main principle in both the Group’s corporate strategy
and culture. Product responsibility also entails the environmentally compatible recovery of vehicles
that have reached the end of their viability. The activities of the BMW Group to continuously opti-
mize recycling are centred in BMW Groups own Recycling and Dismantling Centre (RDC). This is
currently the world’s leading facility of its kind and is an authorised treatment facility.
In addition, the RDC also provides important information for dismantling and drainage techniques,
as well as creating recycling concepts for future vehicles. Whilst in the past the recycling focus lay
on the environmentally responsible recovery of end-of-life vehicles, in recent years the increased
scarcity of natural resources has lead to a change in focus.
Renewable raw materials.
As raw materials, natural fibres represent a high-grade alternative to synthetic fibres. They have
good mechanical properties, are light in weight, yet strong and their use can relieve the environ-
ment. This is why the BMW Group uses natural fibres and other natural products whenever this
makes technical, ecological and economic sense, for example the BMW Group uses natural fibres
in door panels and sound-proofing.
Life cycle assessment.
The BMW Group aspires to take into account the ecological implications of vehicle compo-
nents throughout the life cycle. In order to do this, the BMW Group applies an instrument
known as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
This involves assessing alternative materials and component concepts from the start of the
development process and throughout the entire product life cycle, from the retrieval of raw
materials through the utilization phase to recovery. The environmental impact is analyzed
on the basis of categories such as global warming potential or acidification potential.
Legal Framework.
Return Obligations, Recovery Targets,
Use of Materials.
The EU directive concerning end-of-life vehicles (2000/53/EC) has been in force in all
EU member states since 2000. Among other things, the directive specifies that the
manufacturer must accept end of life vehicles (ELV) back from the last owner without
charge. Car manufacturers are therefore obligated to carry all, or a significant part, of
the costs associated with ELV recycling.
Redemption and recovery.
In the early 90s, long before statutory regulations, the BMW Group had already started to establish
a widespread network of centres in the EU for the acceptance and recycling of vehicles. Every ELV
that BMW Group customers return to these centres is processed by an authorised treatment faci-
lity. For the BMW Group, responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products also means taking
care of used parts, operating fluids and sales packaging. These are collected by the national sales
organizations according to country-specific programs in the relevant markets.
Definition according to EU directive for end-of-life vehicles 2000/53/EC.
Reuse means any operation by which components of end-of life vehicles are used for the same purpose for which they were
Recycling means the reprocessing in a production process of the waste materials for the original purpose or for other purposes
but excluding energy recovery.
Recovery means a suitable process for ensuring that waste is recovered without endangering human health and without the use
of processes or methods likely to harm the environment. Regeneration of acids is an example of a recovery operation.
Use of materials and re-use rates.
As well as prohibiting certain materials such as Lead and Chromium (VI), the EU regulations also
define in detail the secondary processing of certain vehicle components and resources. The
directive (2005/64/EC) also requires that, from 2008 onwards, new vehicles should be reach a
recycling target level of 85 percent and a recovery target level of 95 percent by 2015. This is a
prerequisite for the type-approval of all new vehicle types from the end of 2008 onwards.
Use of recycled materials.
As part of the BMW Groups target of closing the gaps in the material cycle, components produ-
ced from recycled materials are used in vehicles. This demonstrates the ecologically and econo-
mically rational use of secondary raw materials. Currently 15% of plastic parts approved for BMW
Group production vehicles are made of recycled materials, for example recycled materials are
used in underbody paneling, rear shelves, fuel tanks and wheel housings.
Recovery of BMW Group End-of-Life
Process Overview.
Vehicle Acceptance.
Vehicle Identification.
- Vehicle Assessment
- Collation of documents to
accompany vehicle
- Determining extent of dismantling work
- Recording into Software
- Issue of certificate of destruction
Removal of Core Scrap.
- Engine, transmission, possibly axles
- Marketable used parts
- Marketable materials
Transfer to Shredder
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Neutralization of Pyro-
technic Devices.
- Airbags, Seat belt tensioners, etc.
Removal of Hazardous
Removal of Vehicle Fluids.
- Substances according to Dir 2000/53/EC
Appendix I
- Removal of battery, halogen bulbs, etc.
- Removal of all operating fluids
- Ensuring there are no drips
Shredding Process.
Technologies (PST).
- Grinding
- Sorting
- Classification
- Preparation of individual materials
like aluminum, copper and plastics
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