Scrap car Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) have a responsibility to dispose of all the different parts of the car carefully, without danger or damage to the environment, and scrap car batteries are no exception.
When dismantling the vehicle, ATFs will carefully remove leftover fuel, hydraulic fluids and engine oil, all of which can be hazardous if they leak. But they will also usually remove scrap car batteries and store them away from the car – so why is this?
A guidance note issued in December 2020 by the British Metals Recycling Association highlights some of the dangers when scrap car batteries are left in vehicles when the metal is sent for processing to be recycled.
BMRA’s chief executive officer James Kelly wrote on December 18th: “Our sector is suffering from an ever-increasing number of fires. It seems an endless stream of waste batteries, in particular lithium-ion batteries, are finding their way into scrap loads.”
What makes scrap car batteries dangerous?
There are several ways scrap car batteries can be left hidden in bulk loads when processors send scrap metal for recycling:
- – Deliberate concealment at any step along the steel recycling supply chain.
- – Accidental concealment by the supplier (or their supplier etc).
- – Failure to segregate scrap car batteries properly during dismantling.
BMRA’s note also reported an increase in cylinders detected along the metal recycling supply chain, which pose a risk of explosion if they are put into a recycled metal fragmentiser.
All of this raises the threat level across multiple different factors, including:
- – Risk of explosion, fire and/or leak of toxic materials.
- – Risk of damage to property and metal recycling facility premises.
- – Risk of injury and, in extreme incidents, death of personnel.
Fires in recycling facilities can quickly grow, especially if combustible recyclable materials are also stored on-site, and this means there is also the potential for injury to firefighters, disruption for local residents and damage to neighbouring properties.
How to dispose of scrap car batteries safely
Getting rid of scrap car batteries should not be a scary prospect – it’s just a case of working with a reliable, reputable ATF who you know will take the appropriate steps to separate the battery from the vehicle and store it safely for disposal.
As one of the north-west’s first accredited ATFs, J Davidson Scrap have been doing this for longer than most scrap car recycling facilities in the north-west.
When we dismantle a scrap car, we remove the battery, tyres and engine fluids, all in line with the end-of-life vehicle regulations, which date back to 2003.
Once the vehicle has been de-polluted and made safe, only then will we send the remaining bodywork to be processed for metal recycling.
We are licensed to do this. Not all scrap metal dealers are, so make sure you always scrap your car with an ATF for total peace of mind.
Finally, we will issue you with a DVLA Certificate of Destruction and notify the DVLA that your vehicle has been scrapped, taking care of the paperwork so you have nothing to worry about – scrapped, safe and sound.