Automotive shredder residue (ASR) : a rapidly increasing waste stream waiting for a sustainable response

Inglezakis, V.J. and Zorpas, A.A. (2009) Automotive shredder residue (ASR) : a rapidly increasing waste stream waiting for a sustainable response. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 120. pp. 835-843. (

[thumbnail of Inglezakis-Zorpas-WIT-TEE-2009-Automotive-shredder-residue-ASR-a-rapidly-increasing-waste-stream]
Text. Filename: Inglezakis_Zorpas_WIT_TEE_2009_Automotive_shredder_residue_ASR_a_rapidly_increasing_waste_stream.pdf
Final Published Version

Download (369kB)| Preview


Recycling scrapped cars plays an important role in reducing pollution by decreasing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Directive 2000/53/EC regulates the management of ELVs. ELVs are collected and dismantled to remove the battery, tyres, fluids and any parts that can be re-used and the wreck is shredded. The metallic parts are separated by physical processes and recovered as ferrous scrap and nonferrous metals, all of which is recycled. The 25% remainder is the automotive shredder residue (ASR), which is composed mainly of plastics, contaminated with any metallic and other parts that could not be separated. This is often disposed of in landfills as solid urban waste and is not recycled. ASR generation in EU is approximately 2-2.5 million tonnes /year, constituting 10% of total hazardous waste in the EU. The study suggests that recovery rates for ELVs set in the EU Directive on end-of life vehicles will not be met until the volume of the ASR is further reduced. Treatment of the ASR focuses on recovering any useable materials, reducing the volume of the ASR to cut down on the quantity that will end up in landfill, and recovering the energy from the petrochemical content of the plastics. Up-to-date there are 8 post-shredder technologies (PST) used or potentially used for the treatment of auto shredder residues (ASR). The aim of this study is to give an overview of what problem the ASR presents to modern society and what the options are for processing this waste into recovered products or materials, or energy, with a minimum of useless by-products for which landfilling is the only route.