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The Dutch take-back system for end-of-life vehicles & batteries

In cooperation with 300 chain partners, ARN has succeeded in increasing the gainful reuse of end-of-life vehicles to over 98 per cent by weight. Recycling targets for starter and car batteries are also being exceeded. But the quickly changing complexion of the automotive world is setting new challenges. Read how ARN is meeting them with the new CEO Paul Dietz.

 

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Image courtesy of ARN – Paul Dietz

Paul Dietz joined ARN as CEO in April 2022. Before, he was Director of Assessment & Surveillance and Head of Vehicles Standards Department at the Dutch vehicle registration authority RDW. He brings many years of experience in managerial processes and project management, so he’s certainly no stranger to overcoming momentum and getting things done. A position at the heart of car recycling is a perfect fit for him. “I have always appreciated the many advantages my technical background gave me. I’m hardly what you’d call a specialist, but I’m quick to pick up on technical issues, which I’m sure will come up regularly at ARN.”

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Image courtesy of ARN

Impressive results

Paul Dietz recognizes that the discussion about mobility, especially on cars, is somewhat constrained to negative emotions concerning environmental issues. “Member states must take necessary measures to reuse and recover at least 95% of the weight of end-of-life vehicles. The National Sales Companies (NSC) of the OEMs are responsible for meeting these goals. OEMs are also required to take back batteries after they have been removed. In the Netherlands, ARN (20 fte) supports the NSCs and the sector in achieving that goal. It is impressive to see the results of the Dutch recycling system in which ARN is the binding factor.” Thanks to the Dutch vehicle registration system, all cars are well registered. This is important to keep track of the cars in the Netherlands: when a car is put on the market and when the car is deregistered as an end-of-life vehicle. To enable us to fulfil our legal obligations in the environmentally responsible recycling of end-of-life vehicles, buyers of passenger cars and commercial vehicles must pay a recycling fee. The recycling fee is a one-off amount that is added to the purchase price of a new passenger car. From 1 January 2022, this fee has been set at €25 (including VAT).

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Image courtesy of ARN

Making the most of it, together

Thanks to the efforts of car-dismantling, shredder and recycling companies, a recycling performance of more than 98 per cent has been realized in recent years. Looking ahead ten years, Dietz acknowledges that we are becoming increasingly aware that if we don’t take more care, we will be in danger of exhausting the world’s natural resources. “It’s partly for this reason that recycling, which enables us to recover some of these resources, has become so important. We can no longer circumvent the fact that we must look at our world from a more long-term perspective. The waste materials from today are the raw materials for tomorrow.” When asked about the biggest challenge facing ARN, Dietz doesn’t hesitate. “During the coming years, electric cars and their drive batteries will have to be recycled in large numbers. It won’t be that long before all those battery packs will have to be recycled to a high standard. As a sector we are, of course, already preparing for this.”

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Image courtesy of ARN

Future-Oriented

“I think the recycling sector is becoming more attractive every day. Due to worldwide challenges with rare earth materials, more and more problems with climate change and the attention to the circular economy, the need to recycle will increase dramatically. New business models will develop based on stricter regulations. Moreover, technical developments will speed up the investigation of new solutions for recycling problems we have struggled with in the past. Perhaps we will develop some sort of marketplace and use data to connect supply and demand for the reuse of materials like plastics and minerals. All of this is just one step ahead of us. In the next couple of years, we will discover all kinds of possibilities. But let’s not forget all good work is people work. I can imagine that to meet the high standards of a circular economy; it will be wise to invest in demolition and recycling training. We have to explore the possibilities of craftmanship besides new technologies to meet the demands of the near future.”

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Image courtesy of ARN

See for more information about the Dutch car recycling system arn.nl/en

For ARN’s sustainability report, see duurzaamheidsverslag2021.arn.nl/en

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