The amount of waste generated by the automotive industry in the EU raised up to 10 million tonnes in 2010, and it is foreseen that it will increase by 40% until 2015. Nowadays, about 75% of automotive materials are recycled or recovered by means of different processes, a percentage which is still far away from the 95% target set by 2015 by the End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) European directive 2000/53/EC.
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The separation of the non-ferrous metals from ELV scrap is technologically complex. The inefficiency of currently existing waste separation methods is revealed by the fact that an increasing amount of non‐ferrous scratch is being shipped to Asia, where lower labour costs allow for an economically viable handpicking separation.