The Current State of Automobile Recycling

With the Automobile Recycling Law coming into effect in 2005, Toyota began initiatives to increase the vehicle recycling/recovery*1 rate to 95% by taking steps such as recycling automobile shredder residue (ASR*2) generated from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs).

What Happens to End-of-Life Vehicles?

Automobiles manufactured by automakers and used by consumers until the end of their useful life are referred to as ELVs. From these ELVs, dismantling companies first remove the oils, engines, transmissions, tires, batteries, catalytic converters and other parts, which are then recycled or reused.

Shredding companies then sort out the ferrous and non-ferrous metals, resins and other materials. While the ferrous and non-ferrous metals are recycled, the remaining ASR is collected by automakers and recycled/recovered or processed appropriately.

In order to most effectively utilize the earth's resources and reduce the volume of waste that must be disposed of in landfills, automobile recycling activities must include further waste reduction efforts and promotion of reuse and recycling/recovery to ultimately achieve zero waste.

*1. Recovery refers to materials and energy recovery.
*2. ASR (Automobile Shredder Residue): Residual resin, rubber and glass, after metals are removed from shredded ELVs.

Recycling/Recovery Route for ELVs (Japan)

Recycling/Recovery Route for ELVs (Japan)

*The rate combines the 83% (as per May 2003 METI Joint Council report) of materials recovered from the dismantling and shredding processes, with the remaining 17% (ASR) multiplied by about 0.80(80%) of the ASR recycling rate.

Examples of Parts Being Recycled from End-of-Life Vehicles

Examples of Parts Being Recycled from End-of-Life Vehicles