The German carmaker announced today the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, or KBA) has awarded VW two certificates for its car recycling strategy. The certificates acknowledge KBA's statement that VW is the "first automaker worldwide to produce series vehicles which are recyclable to a minimum of 85 percent and reusable to a minimum of 95 percent by mass," according to VW.
How do you recycle a Golf? When VW started to get serious about end-of-life use problem in 1999, it turned to SiCon GmbH. The process the two companies developed recovers a lot of the materials in the vehicle (hard plastics, rubber, textiles, glass and metal residues) for re-use.
Ford was recently given a similar award for the recyclability of its vehicles. Automakers are getting the recycling processes ready for the upcoming EU Directive 2005/64/EC. That rule states that after December 2008 all vehicle manufacturers will have to provide evidence of recyclability when they apply for type-approval of new vehicles. The minimum that new vehicles under the directive must be reusable and/or recyclable is 85 percent and at least 95 percent by mass must be reusable and/or recoverable.