Munich, Germany – An industrial trial of 501 pilot-production BMW vehicles has proven that the automaker has met future statutory regulations for recycling as set by the European Union (EU).

The EU’s directive specifies that at least 85 per cent of new vehicles must be capable of being recycled, and that up to 95 per cent must be recoverable with effect from December 2008 at the latest. BMW’s results verify that the recycling quotas can be achieved by 2015.

The pre-treatment of vehicles and dismantling of components for reuse included deactivation of pyrotechnic devices and separate removal of all liquids from the vehicle. The latest major trial only involved components being assembled which can be redeployed as used parts, including wheels and lights. Shredding and treatment of the residual bodies was carried out at partner processing companies.

Plastic waste materials proved to be particularly important, as the products created were used as recyclates for the manufacture of new components and as replacements for conventional reducing agents in furnaces, such as coke and heavy oil. The high proportion of reused and commercially recycled materials demonstrates the importance of old vehicles as a raw-material resource.

The automaker also includes vehicle designs which ultimately promote efficient and ecological reuse of the products, including components that can be quickly and easily drained of their fluids prior to dismantling, and pyrotechnic components that are designed so that they can be rendered harmless by plugging into them through a central socket connection, which significantly simplifies and shortens the process of dismantling and reuse.

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