Discarded End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) will grow from 7 million per annum today to about 10 million by 2015. Although metal recovery is standard practice, the remaining fraction - today about 2 million tons of Automotive Shredder Residues is still disposed of in landfills. All players recognize it cannot be a long term sustainable solution. The industry at large, has agreed that over the next twenty years, most of these tonnage should be recovered.In the European Union, the ELV treatment industry is an important economic activity, involvingclose to 20000 collectors / dismantlers - mostly SMEs - as well as a few hundred companies operating heavy duty shredders. The need for improved environmental protection from ELV treatment, and for higher material recovery requires drastic changes in operational practices, as well as new technologies.Over the last few years, considerable work has been conducted in this respect, by some segments of the industry, in several Members States. However it has taken place in an uncoordinated manner. The objectives of the project is to set up a Thematic Network aiming at: *creating the conditions of synergy and cross interaction in Europe, *becoming a credible European information reference source, helping achieve deeper understanding in order to facilitate the necessary changes, "through the chain". *Iaunching those 'obvious' projects, made possible by the critical mass and diversity of participants in the network, and to be funded / run independently of this Thematic Network project.The expected output will be: . an in-depth, validated, inventory of national and regional projects and activities, of global technologies, of available European infrastructures and resources, . an assessment and synthesis, accepted at large, and leading to: * full identification of best technologies and practices,* identification of technological gaps, * lists of prioritized R&TD projects with attached costs/benefits, * launch of projects which have undergone previous gap analysis. . a dissemination tool in order to ensure full information access and technology transfer opportunity throughout all European Union Member States, and in particular to SMEs, by most practical means. Although the project emphasis is on plastics, one expected spin off is the direct applicability to all other non plastics materials present in cars, as well as on other non automotive industries, e.g. electric / electronic industry.
Paris Cedex 12
Paris - La Défense 10