Recycling and return at Volkswagen
Is your Volkswagen about to reach its final decommissioning? As a manufacturer, we are aware of our responsibilities and will take back our products once they have reached the end of their service life. Learn more about the recycling process here as well as the legal conditions for a free-of-charge return of end-of-life vehicles and waste electrical and electronic equipment.
Sustainability is an integral part of our entire process chain, impacting the product planning, production and recycling of a vehicle. The measures contribute to environmental preservation, for example by helping conserve resources.
Measures implemented during vehicle development
As early as the development stage of your new Volkswagen, measures are taken to ensure that the vehicle can be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner once it reaches the end of its service life.
Recycled materials at Volkswagen
There is a sub-section with the header “Our plastic recycled materials using the example of two models” and there are the Golf 8 and ID.4 models. Please omit the ID.4 model content and change the header “Our plastic recycled materials using the example of the model”.
Our plastic recycled materials using the example of two models
End-of-Life Vehicle Service
Simple and free of charge
Is it time for your Volkswagen to be recycled and re-used? Just bring it to one of our many return centres. It will be recycled for you, free of charge, under the applicable legal conditions.
The recycling process
It doesn’t matter when your Volkswagen initial registration took place – as of the 1st of January 2007, you can return it free-of-charge to any certified return centre. The following conditions apply for a free-of-charge return:
- Your Volkswagen had been registered in the EU at least one month prior to its decommission.
- Your Volkswagen is complete, i.e. it has all basic parts and components (including the engine, gears, control units and all other parts).
- Your Volkswagen is not full of waste or parts that do not belong to the vehicle.
- You return your Volkswagen with the original registration document or an equivalent EU registration document. In return, you will be issued with the certificate of destruction that is required to de-register the vehicle (final decommissioning) at the registration office.
Your end-of-life vehicle will then be prepared for recycling. Components or fluids that have been removed shall be collected separately and can be re-used, recycled or re-purposed.
- The battery is removed.
- Airbags and belt tensioners are neutralised.
- All operating fluids (fuel, engine, gear and shock absorber oil, brake fluid, coolant, refrigerant from the air conditioning system) are removed.
Following the removal of certain components, they can be immediately re-introduced into the recycling circuit. In the vehicle press, the vehicle is pressed and thus prepared for the shredder.
- Catalytic converters are removed in order to recover the precious metals inside them, namely platinum, palladium and rhodium.
- Wheels and tyres are removed.
- Components and powertrains are removed for use as used replacement parts.
- The removal of plastic parts for material recycling depends on the economic framework and the current market demand for recycled materials.
The remaining pre-treated body is broken down into fist-sized pieces in the shredder and then separated into several material groups according to a multi-level sorting system:
- Air-stream sorting
- Magnetic separation
- Eddy currents
Re-usable scrap metal accounts for 75% of the entire vehicle.
- Ferrous and steel materials can be used as raw material for high-quality steel.
- Non-ferrous metals, such as copper, aluminium and zinc, are filtered out of the heavy fraction shredder scrap and treated further.
- The light fraction shredder scrap contains the seats from your end-of-life vehicle, amongst other parts.
The shredder residues (light fraction shredder scrap and non-metal elements of the heavy fraction shredder scrap) still contain valuable organic materials. In post-shredder processes, such as the Volkswagen SiCon process, residues are reduced even further and separated from one another, allowing them to be recycled.
- Processed shredder granulate – composed of hard plastics – can be used in steel production as a replacement for heavy oil or coal dust.
- Shredder fluff made up of textile fibres and seat foam can replace high-quality coal dust as a de-watering agent for sewage sludge.
- Shredder sand composed of glass, rust and paint residue can be used as construction material following additional processing.
Return and recycling of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment
We will gladly inform you about your rights and duties when disposing of old electrical or electronic devices.