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The drive to reducing landfill: UK firm sets tone for COP27 with ground-breaking approach to car recycling


  • UN Climate Summit in Egypt this month will discuss damage to planet caused by landfill and unmanaged waste
  • Recycling Lives’ revolutionary new process will tackle problem of recycling up to 2m1 cars which reach end of life in the UK every year
  • Firm’s new thermal treatment technology targets ZERO landfill for hard-to-recycle Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) within four years – providing power back to the grid
8 November 2022 – Climate damage caused by landfill and unmanaged waste is on the agenda at this week’s COP27 climate summit – and a national recycling firm has it firmly on its own agenda, through a ground-breaking solution for hard-to-recycle car parts, which could mean ZERO car landfill within four years.


The drive to reducing landfill: UK firm sets tone for COP27 with ground-breaking approach to car recycling p

The annual UN summit takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from Sunday (Nov. 6) for 12 days, with ‘Unmanaged Waste – a hidden cause of climate change’ set to discuss ‘supporting environmentally sound management of waste to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and promote circular economy as a climate mitigation strategy’ this coming Friday (11th).

And UK-based waste management specialist, Recycling Lives, is already leading the way, with a ground-breaking approach to dealing with the estimated two million cars which reach the end of their life in the UK every year. Of these, Recycling Lives recycles the parts it can, and the remaining automotive shredder residue (ASR) amounts to about 25% of ELV mass left. Currently, Recycling Lives is able to recover 20%, leaving 5% which goes to landfill due to its complex disposition. However, this 5% is now being addressed through Recycling Lives’ ground-breaking energy-from-waste solution to significantly reduce the amount of landfill.

Recycling Lives, the UK’s largest end-of-life vehicles processor, has developed a revolutionary process that uses the hard-to-recycle ASR to generate power and green energy (green hydrogen) – through cutting-edge thermal treatment technologies that reduces waste-to-landfill and contributes to a cleaner, safer environment. 

And the firm is aiming to completely reduce landfill from vehicle ASR within four years.

 Gerry Marshall, CEO of Recycling Lives, said: 

“The waste sector contributes 10% of greenhouse gas emissions globally2, and COP27 this month will remind the world that failure to safely manage waste affects health, the environment and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. 

As the largest end-of-life car processor in the UK, we responsibly recycle upwards of 150,000 cars a year, and automotive shredder residue has traditionally been a major issue, accounting for up to a quarter of every vehicle’s material. Preventing this valuable material from taking up landfill space and contributing to a cleaner, safer environment that benefits our people and our planet has been a key driver for this innovation, and we are thrilled to have played a crucial part in turning a problem into a positive solution.

We’re aiming to have our first operational plant up and running by the end of 2023, and we’ll be generating power across our other main plants during 2024 and 2025, and, thereafter, working on providing power back to the grid over the following 12-18 months.  We’re looking to achieve zero percent landfill from ASR within four years.”

 The UK is the current holder of the COP presidency, after hosting the summit in Glasgow last year, and Alok Sharma MP, the UK’s COP26 president, will hand over the presidency to Egypt. King Charles has also announced he will host his own reception for COP27 at the Palace.

Recycling Lives Executive Chairman, Andrew Hodgson added: 

“Our company is founded on the principles of creating social value, delivering environmental innovation and governance, and we believe in doing good, sustainable business. But there’s always more that we can all be doing to save the planet.

COP27 is a timely reminder that we all need to act now on climate change.”




2COP27 Side Event: Unmanaged Waste – a hidden cause of climate change