Product Dictionary

Metals

Metals

Info:

Metal recycling has a long tradition as metals can be easily melted and reshaped. To be recycled however, metals may not contain other substances as for instance greases, plastics, rubber, wood, etc.

Preventing/Reducing:

Before recycling, vehicles have to be cleaned, thus all operating liquids (fuel, oil, brake and cooling liquids) have to be removed, lead accumulators be taken out and tires dismounted. For larger quantities of non-iron metal a separate collection is recommended as the waste recipient is paying more for metals.

Recycling/environment correct disposal:

After removal of possible third substances, metals are shredded and used in steel works (iron metal) or other non-iron metal works (non-iron metals) for the manufacturing of new products.

Where to put the old vehicle ?

The disposal of end-of-life vehicles is regulated in accordance with the Grand-Ducal Regulation on End-of-Life Vehicles and the agreement between the Luxembourg car dealers/importers and the Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development. Affected are not only cars (and vans with up to 9 seats including driver) but also vans up to a total weight of 3.5 tons. This applies to vehicles of any age since 01.01.2007.

Industry and trade are therefore obliged to install systems for collection and dismantling. The vehicle owner is obliged to dispose of the end-of-life vehicle via an approved collection point or to take it to a dismantling facility. Here he will receive an official certificate of destruction for presentation to SNCA. Vehicles can only be deregistered with a recycling certificate.

However, a prerequisite for free handover is that the end-of-life vehicle still contains all essential parts such as the engine, gearbox, etc. and that no foreign waste has been added. The end-of-life vehicles can be taken by the last owner both to a collection point and directly to the dismantling facility. Ask your car dealer. Detailed information on the collection points commissioned by the manufacturers can be found on the emwelt.lu website.

Recycling

In the dismantling facility, the end-of-life vehicles are de-polluted. All problematic components, i.e. operating fluids, the battery, airbags, the catalytic converter and all other parts that may contain problematic products, are removed. In addition to the problem products, the regulation also requires the dismantling of wheels, glass panes, aluminium rims, balancing weights as well as other metals if these are not separated during subsequent shredding. From 1 January 2015, the legislation provides for higher recovery rates of up to 95% of end-of-life vehicles.

Prevention

The End-of-Life Vehicles Regulation goes beyond the simple take-back obligation and explicitly calls for new avoidance and recycling strategies. This is to be achieved, among other things, by designing and building vehicles that are easy to dismantle and whose parts are easier to reuse or recycle, as well as increasing the use of recycled products in car manufacturing. In this sense, fixed recycling quotas are also required. In addition to the quotas, the legislation also provides for the gradual replacement of hazardous components such as mercury, lead and chromium IV in new cars with non-problematic substances.

Please note that end-of-life vehicles are subject to the waste law. Vehicles that have not been polluted and therefore still contain used oils, operating fluids or the battery are considered hazardous waste.

Therefore, do not give end-of-life vehicles to unknown buyers or scrap dealers. Make sure that you receive an officially recognised recycling certificate.

When buying a new vehicle, pay attention to the environment, i.e. low consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as good recyclability at the end of use.

End-of-life vehicles

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Quecksilver – a useful but also a dangerous metal

Metallic quicksilver strongly expands with heat and evaporates already at room temperature. It is / was used among others in thermometers, manometers, fluorescent lamps, micro batteries (button cells) and switches of electronic devices. Organic and inorganic quicksilver compounds are/were used against batteries, fungus and insects, for seeds and wood treatment as well as antifouling agent in paint coloring substances.

For some of the listed uses alternatives have been found in the meantime, yet not for all of them. The fact also, that in the past year in addition to quicksilver containing lamps and batteries, 349 kg quicksilver or products containing quicksilver were collected by the SuperDrecksKëscht® show that quicksilver remains an subject in current times.

From the environment into food

Quicksilver may get in the environment via various means, naturally, for instance volcanic activities, used water from chemical plants (industrial processes) but also by household waste. Coal-fired power plants also release mercury into the environment despite modern filters.

Inorganic and organic quicksilver compounds may build up in the food chain and thus be absorbed by the human through food and concentrate in the body. Poisoning leads to nerve and kidney damages. In the 1950ies the Japanese experienced spectacular illnesses with mortal outcome due to the consumption of fish (Minamata disease) whereas Iraq counted about 500 deaths in the 1970ies by poisoned seeds.

The inhalation of quicksilver vapor is very dangerous (for instance if a thermometer breaks) as it is absorbed by 80% by the lung. In higher concentration it leads to severe lung damage and chronic damage of the central nerve system. Severe cases of poisoning lead to important stomach and intestine colic, local mucus burning and even to kidney failure. Smaller doses lead to cell and protoplasm poisoning. Quicksilver is stored among others in the liver, kidney and brain and only eliminated slowly by the kidneys.

Due to the danger of vapors it is important to secure even the smallest quantity of quicksilver. Metallic quicksilver spilled in living and working areas should be carefully collected.

What you should pay attention to while handling quicksilver

  • Dispose of waste containing quicksilver as button cells and fluorescent light tubes via the SuperDrecksKëscht®. Electronic devices may also contain quicksilver containing parts. Dispose of such devices by giving them back to the reseller or at the recycling center.
  • Should you have to make remove quicksilver from a broken thermometer or similar devices: For smooth surfaces use a simple tool as for instance a shovel or a brush, for rough surfaces binding agents may be necessary (i.e. Mercurisorb®). Cell tape may also be used to collect quicksilver. Put the collected quicksilver in a closed container and bring it to the SDK. Do not touch quicksilver with bare hands (danger of burning) and avoid inhalation of vapors. For specific questions call the specialists of the SuperDrecksKëscht®.
  • Old Fluorescent or energy-saving lamps contain a maximum of 5 milligrams of mercury, which in itself represents a low concentration (for comparison, with thermometers it is up to 500 mg). The mercury contained in the normal handling of the lamps can not in the environment or. Ambient air is released because it is bound and not elemental. In many new models, mercury is also present as a mixture with other metals (amalgam). Consumers should generally be cautious with all fragile products. Converted throughout Luxembourg, the annual fluorescent lamps contain several kg of mercury. Therefore, return fluorescent lamps and also lamp breakage of fluorescent lamps to the SDK, which collects them on behalf of Ecotrel.

Quicksilver disposed of at the SDK is completely recycled and used as raw material in technical processes. Mercury-containing luminous powder is also recycled as far as possible, otherwise safely disposed of.

Avoiding quicksilver !

  • Alternatives exist for batteries and thermometers containing quicksilver. Your reseller or the SuperDrecksKëscht® will be happy to provide you information about this.

For any further questions just call the SDK, Tel. 488 216-1.

Quecksilver

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Lead – ‚to be enjoyed‘ with caution

In normal everyday life today – fortunately – we no longer come across lead-containing products too often. Until the 1970s, lead was still used to produce drinking water pipes. It was used for paints (lead white) and ceramic glazes. In earlier centuries, lead was also found in tableware and so-called lead sugar was even used for sweetening, especially wine.

Lead or lead compounds are still used in many technical applications today. The best-known example is the so-called lead accumulator as a starter battery in vehicles. Since lead and lead compounds have led to health hazards up to the present, industry is trying to replace lead as far as possible, even where the health hazards are low.

In doing so, it also responds to legal regulations, especially through regulations at the European level. In the 1990s, for example, lead in petrol (in the compound lead tetraethyl) was banned as an anti-knock agent. Very recent is the restriction of the use of lead in the automotive sector through the End-of-Life Vehicles Regulation. In Luxembourg, too, lead balance weights may no longer be used since July 2005.

Panic is not appropriate when in contact with lead, but with a single intake of lead or lead salts, there is hardly any toxic effect to be noticed. Contact with metallic lead is generally harmless. Lead poisoning – the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven fell victim to such – occurs only with regular recording. Caution is recommended here especially with lead compounds or dust, which are absorbed by the lungs.

Lead or lead-containing products do not belong in the residual waste under any circumstances. This also applies to very small quantities of metallic lead. Contact the SDK if you have any questions about disposal.

For further tips and advice, please contact SDK on tel. 488 216 1.

Lead

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