On May 11th and 12th the EGARA springmeeting was held in Vilnius, Lithuania. EGARA has currently 15 members from which 13 countries were present. Extra guests were representatives from candidate member CAZ (Slovakia) and Lennart Scharff, former general secretary from EGARA.

The morning of the first day everyone was invited for a seminar at the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment. Various presentations were done. Paul Fox as the EGARA Chairman welcomed everyone on behalf of EGARA and thanked the hosts for the occaision. After the Lituanian welcome a lady from a consultancy agency that’s occupied with legislation about processing ELV’s and reporting the recycling effort, told especially the reporting is the hardest to do. Not all cars are registered, so it’s difficult to show the amount of processed ELV’s and the number of ELV’s that stil should be processed. This country only recently bought a registration system, so only new cars and cars that are on the road are registered. Also two recyclers told about their business. One was more of a national player, the otherone operated in the Baltic sea area.

On Behalf of EGARA Henk Jan Nix From STIBA was asked to tell something about the current position of EGARA. Mainpoint was the difference between stories that are sometimes prone to be believed and facts about the progres in processing ELV’s. Dismantlers have a function in cleaning up ELV’s in an environmental responsible way, but we are only able to perform this job when at least these costs are covered. It’s just a matter of market principles and thus we must to be able and allowed to sell used parts. Apart from that, the Directive states that we should reuse parts as products. Dismantlers form a system in which a last owner can deliver his ELV and are the ones equipped with sites to perform this job in a no hazardous way for the environment and for the lowest costs. Until proven techniques appear, manual dismantlig of materials is the way to achieve 85% recycling. Registration at the sites is a reliable source for the reporting of the recycling effort. At this moment there are forces that try to convince governments that reuse of parts leads to dangerous situations. In the past the EC already decided the arguments were void. Unfortunately the lobby against used parts goes on at the national levels. During the semionar questions about the quality of used parts are asked. The answers are parts are checked before and after removal. Dismantlers only want to see good parts bexcause they avoid unhappy customers. At dismantlingcompanies it’s trained mechanics that take off the parts. It’s not only a part itself that should be safe, it should also be mounted professionally. Aside from that, what’s the difference between a car that had the broken parts replaced and the non-broken parts kept in place and a non broken part from an accident car that is dismantled. The fact that in some countries dismantlers have insurance for producers resposibility seemed to be news to a lot of people.

Last speaker was came from the agriculture university and asked about problems with abandoned agricultural machines. This seems to be a typical Lithuanian problem as it was unknown to anyone else.

The afternoon all participants visited a truck dismantling company that was situated in an old state farm. It was a rather big company with a well organised entry and sales office.

Next day started with the EGARA meeting. Mainpoints are:

  • Introduction of CAZ as a candidate member
  • More intensive contacts with Brussels
  • Complaint about OEM numbers and materialcodes
  • Quality
  • Host for the next IRT?
  • Next springmeeting 2008 in Hungary

The social programm took the group to a medieval castel in Trakai, situated in a lake in which a museum was hosted. At the end of the day Lennart Scharff was thanked for his efforts as a General Secretary for 10 years and he received a goodbye present. Lennart is a senior advisor at STENA (Scandinavian Shredders) these days.