The Car Mining project, started in January 2018, has as its first objective to test the feasibility of recovering high quality plastics from Out-of-Service vehicles of the Authorized Treatment Centers of Catalonia. Secondly, Car Mining aims to give value to waste of great potential, allowing its re-entry into the plastic market as a secondary raw material, and avoiding the production of virgin plastic from a non-renewable source such as oil.
Plastic waste from the Out-of-service Vehicles.
The plastic waste coming from the Out-of-service Vehicles are increasingly abundant due to the new designs of vehicles that seek to minimize the weight of cars using plastics. At present, they do not have a specific treatment for their valorization, ending up in the scrap pack and in the light fraction of fragmentation and ultimately in landfill. However, these are high-quality materials because the automotive industry demands high-level specifications.
Agents participating in the Car Mining project.
The leader of the project is the scrapping company of Out-of-service Vehicles- Autogrúas Sant Jordi SL, that will have the technical support of two expert companies in the impact of plastics of out of use vehicles, Econia Empresarial SL, a company specializing in project management and environmental studies, and ZICLA, as an expert company in the development of new secondary materials from waste.
Expectations of the Car Mining project.
It is expected to extract about 4 tons of plastic from their out of service vehicles, to test the feasibility of the procedure. Thus, the total implementation of the project could give out some 150 tons of plastic per year applicable only to Autogrúas Sant Jordi .
The extraction work, storage, and transformation will focus on the front and rear bumpers, fenders, radiator supports, and hoods. This will collect sufficient amounts of acrylonitrile butadine styrene (ABS), polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) for the manufacture of industrial pallets.
Car Mining, a circular Economy demonstration project.
The Car Mining project has the support of the Waste Agency of Catalonia through the “Aid for projects to promote the circular economy.” It is based on the results obtained in the previous Rolling Plastics project, carried out in 2016, also subsidized, in this case by Ihobe in its “Circular Economy demonstration projects”.