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BMW reduces environmental impacts during the entire vehicle lifespan - from manufacturing, to use and servicing, and finally recycling. This concept among others contributes to the BMW Group being listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index.

The foundations for the environmentally friendly recycling of vehicles are already laid during the development and production phases of each BMW vehicle. By consistently applying the Design for Recycling concept, BMW ensures that its vehicles can be efficiently recycled.

Recycling End-of-Life Vehicles.

Making sure your BMW is re-used in an environmentally sound manner.

The recycling process for end-of-life vehicles takes place at authorised treatment facilities (ATF). Vehicles are recycled in a manner that aims to optimise environmental protection and economic value. Key to this is the recovery of valuable materials so they are placed back into the production cycle, limiting the effects on the environment.
Four stages are in place to make sure that end-of-life vehicles are recycled in an environmentally sound manner: the controlled return of the vehicle to an authorised ATF, pre-treatment, dismantling, recycling and recovery of materials.

The four stages of the recycling process.

  • Recycling the vehicle begins with the return of the vehicle to one of the authorised take-back points or treatment facilities. Only these facilities issue a Certificate of Destruction (CoD), which is required for the final vehicle de-registration and to release the owner from legal responsibility for their vehicle. To return your BMW vehicle to BMW's end of life recycling network please call Rewarding Recycling on 0800 542 2002 (calls are free of charge plus your phone company's access charge) or visit
  • Once returned for disposal the vehicle undergoes a pre-treatment process.  During pre-treatment the battery is removed and all pyrotechnic devices, such as airbags, are neutralised. The vehicle is placed on what is known as the depollution rig where the majority of the process is carried out. This includes siphoning off air-conditioning system refrigerant and brake fluid, draining radiator coolant, motor and transmission oil, and extracting any remaining fuel using a special drilling machine with a draining device. The various fluids are kept separate and placed into containers according to type for processing or recycling by specialist waste management companies.
  • During the dismantling stage, vehicle parts that can be reused or recycled are removed. Recycling specialists determine which of the vehicle's parts are suitable for recycling or reuse for their original function. Valuable materials, such as precious metals used in the catalytic converters, are recycled in a separate material cycle.
  • Once replacement parts and recoverable materials have been dismantled, the remaining vehicle shell is transported to a shredding facility for further processing.  The vehicles are then reduced to palm-sized pieces and sorted.  Materials, textiles, ferrous and non-ferrous metals are then further processed in specialised plants which generate metals, plastics and other materials that can be used in new production and/or energy generation.

Designed for Recycling.

Start by thinking of the end
BMW specialists start laying the foundations for end-of-life vehicles to be recycled and disposed of efficiently and in an environmentally friendly manner during the product development process. Our Engineers and Design team work closely with our very own Recycling specialists to consider the needs of recycling and ELV disposal.
Life Cycle Assessment case studies are used to systematically analyse the environmental impact of components. Virtual and actual dismantling analyses are carried out to certify that each BMW vehicle achieves the goals set. For example, these measures help to ensure that complete neutralisation of all pyrotechnic devices are carried out quickly and safely, all operating fluids are removed quickly, plastic components are marked with the correct material label and recycled materials are used properly.
This is all thanks to the recycling know-how that has been accumulated by BMW since the early 1990s.
The neutralisation of pyrotechnic devices
During the neutralisation stage, pyrotechnic devices such as airbags, battery safety terminal clamps and safety belt pretensioners are triggered using a standardised activation device. The neutralisation process is carried out fastest in situ. During the development phase, the vehicle electronics are designed so that all pyrotechnic devices can be controlled and activated using one common interface.
Draining of fluids
During the development phase, consideration is given to making sure that all operating fluids such as oils, air-conditioning system refrigerant, brake fluid and radiator coolant can be removed quickly and simply from the vehicle once it reaches its end of life.
Design for Recycling ensures that all components that contain fluids are positioned so that they can be accessed quickly. Opening or drilling components containing fluids at their deepest point allows gravity to play a role in the initial process. Specific components, e.g. the fuel tank and the shock absorbers, are drained using specially designed tools.
Material labelling
All components are labelled in accordance with the international ISO standards. This enables materials to be sorted according to type.
Using recycled materials
Recycled materials are material that have been taken from used parts. They can be used for components as long as they do not lead to any functional limitations. This usually refers to components that are not prominent safety features or are in direct view. Wheel arch trims are predestined to be made of recycled plastic material.
Recycled materials are for instance used in the boot ventilation and the mounting of the central console of the BMW 7 Series. Insulation made of flock compound - an insulating material made out of 80 to 90 percent recycled PUR foam - is used for the rear parcel shelf.
To benefit the environment and to save costs, recycled materials can account for 15 - 20 per cent in weight of the total mass of plastic materials used. This saves resources and introduces closed-loop recycling processes.

Returning End-of-Life Vehicles.

BMW End of Life Vehicles can be returned free of charge to Autogreen's network of ATFs throughout the UK.                     
Once a vehicle reaches to the end of its life, it must be returned by its last owner to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), where a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) will be issued, enabling the vehicle to be deregistered and the owner to be released from further vehicle taxation.
Only a fully licensed ATF, which is registered with the Environmental Agency, may issue a CoD. This requirement is a result of the End-of-Life Vehicle Regulations, 2003 and 2005, which implements the "EU directive 2000/53/EG on end-of-life vehicles" into UK law.
Should you wish to dispose of your BMW vehicle, approach one of Autogreen's Rewarding Recycling network of ATF's, where you will be able to dispose of your vehicle for recycling in an environmentally sound manner. These sites are located throughout the UK and will issue you the necessary CoD, your proof that the vehicle has been taken off the road and destroyed. They are also able to collect your vehicle if required.
Terms and conditions of returning end-of-life vehicles.
Autogreen's network of ATF's and take-back points take back all registered BMW vehicles (including New MINI and New Rolls Royce).  
These sites will not charge for the disposal of these vehicles if the vehicle is complete, i.e. the vehicle must include its essential component parts, in particular its engine, coachworks/chassis, transmission drive, catalytic converter, wheel and must not contain waste.
As part of Autogreens Rewarding Recycling Programme they may even be able to give you a value for your vehicles recycled parts and metals.
To dispose of a vehicle the owner should complete their vehicle registration documents and obtain a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) from the dismantler. 
BMW End of Life Recycling sites
To dispose of your BMW or MINI call Autogreen (Rewarding Recycling) on 0800 542 2002 (calls are free of charge plus your phone company's access charge) or visit

Battery Recycling.

When the primary automotive battery in your vehicle reaches the end of its life, it can be returned to your Authorised BMW Centre when a new battery is purchased or installed; alternatively it can be delivered to one of the following facilities for recycling:
  • Civic Amenity and Recycling Centres
  • Local Authority Battery Collection Schemes
  • Licensed End of Life Vehicle Authorised Treatment Facilities
  • Licensed Metal Recycling Sites

To find your nearest recycling facilities click on and enter your postcode, place name or street name and select the type of material that you want to recycle.
Should you require any further information or if you have difficulties returning your automotive battery for recycling via the routes detailed, click on BMW Group Recycling for assistance.
BMW is a registered Battery Producer in UK with the Environment Agency; our producer registration number is BPRN00557.
Please be aware that disposal of waste industrial and automotive batteries by landfill or by incineration is banned in the UK from 1 January 2010.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Disposal.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006 (the WEEE Regulations) came into effect in the United Kingdom on 1st July 2007. The Regulations have been designed to prevent/reduce the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment disposed of to landfill by promoting its reuse , recycling and recovery. The separate collection of WEEE saves energy and resources and avoids hazardous materials from going to landfill.
Electrical and electronic equipment is any product that relies on electricity or batteries to perform its primary function, for example a watch or a remote control toy car.
From 1st July 2007, BMW is required to offer a free method of disposal of your old electrical and electronic equipment. BMW has joined a UK wide distributor take back scheme (DTS) to assist in delivering UK wide WEEE collection system to encourage our customers to recycle these goods. BMW has contributed towards the development of WEEE collection facilities, known as Designated Collection Facilities (DCF), for consumers to use throughout the UK.
BMW is a registered WEEE Producer in UK with the Environment Agency; our producer registration number is WEE/HK0065TW.

Disposal of Electrical or Electronic Products.

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