De-pollution Systems

What you need to know about the ELV Directive

The relevant pieces of legislation are:

The European End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive (2000/53/EC)

The updated versions of both the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) and Hazardous Waste List (HWL) (2000/532/EC) and its subsequent amendments.

The ELV Directive introduces measures to promote and increase recycling and to further protect the environment by requiring adequate de-pollution (e.g. draining of fluids such as engine oil) and sets minimum technical requirements for the treatment of ELVs. Following the introduction of the End-of-Life Vehicles Regulations 2003 ELV treatment facilities carrying out de-pollution need to be licensed as “authorised treatment facilities” (ATFs) by the environment agencies.

Treatment operations to comply with the ELV Directive

Operations for the de-pollution of ELVs

  •     Remove Battery
  •     Remove liquefied gas tanks
  •     Remove wheels then separate tyres from wheels and remove balancing weights
  •     Drain anti freeze from expansion tank
  •     Drain screen wash
  •     Drain PAS reservoir
  •     Drain brake fluid reservoir and brake fluid from pipes & master cylinder
  •     Drain suspension system and shock absorber fluid
  •     Check and remove other hazardous waste from vehicle i.e mercury swithces
  •     Degas Aircon system
  •     Drain engine oil
  •     Remove oil filter
  •     Drain gearbox and differential oil
  •     De-bowse petrol or diesel
  •     Remove catalytic convertor
  •     Insert bungs into all drain holes
  •     Deploy air bags or remove for neutralisation


Note: For full guidance on de-polluting ELVs see Defra guidance.