The European Union End of Life Vehicles directive has been extended to require car makers to scrap all their old cars free of charge. Previously the directive had required that cars produced post-2002 be scrapped for free. As the value of scrap metal has fallen, motorists in the United Kingdom have started to be charged £50 / $97 by scrap yards leading to thousands of cars being abandoned on roadsides.

Between eight and nine million tonnes of waste for vehicles is generated each year in the EU annually from vehicles that have reached their end of life. The disposal scheme is aimed at recycling or re-using more that 80 percent of each vehicle. Harmful materials such as mercury and lead are also to be reduced in new models by manufacturers. Car makers have been cautious of the directive initially claiming that it would cost the industry millions of dollars and could lead to bankruptcies.

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[Source: BBC via TreeHugger]

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