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Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 03:23 GMT
Car industry 'must recycle more'
Car exhaust
Only 75% of scrap from cars can be reclycled at present
The motor industry must find better ways of recycling cars if it is to be sustainable, a report has urged.

Oxford Brookes University researchers predict that more vehicles will be produced in the next 25 years than in the entire history of the car to date.

A dramatic increase in demand from developing economies will generate billions of tonnes of scrap, they add.

Co-author Prof Allan Hutchinson said recycling "is not a concern for the distant future - it is with us now".

'New technologies'

The report warns that the number of vehicles on the roads will increase by 65% in the next 23 years.

At present about 75% of the scrap from old cars is recycled - but the rest, including plastics, rubber, glass and fabric ends up in landfill sites.
How to dispose of vehicles more effectively may not be the most glamorous part of the motor industry, but it may well ultimately be the most important
Prof Allan Hutchinson
Oxford Brookes University

More cars will be bought and replaced in China, Russia, India, Eastern Europe and the rest of the developing world, researchers said.

The result, they add, is an urgent recycling challenge - how to design machines to disassemble and shred car parts more efficiently so the materials can be reused.

They estimated that 3.5bn tonnes of scrap will be produced in the next two decades - enough to fill Wembley Stadium more than 1,000 times.

Under EU legislation, 95% of a motor vehicle must be recycled at the end of its life by 2015.

Prof Hutchinson said: "How to dispose of vehicles more effectively may not be the most glamorous part of the motor industry, but it may well ultimately be the most important for a sustainable one.

"We believe this work can provide the basis for the extensive research necessary to develop new technologies together with the automotive industry to ensure its obligations can be met in a timely manner."

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