The Technical Ordinance on Waste (TOW) demanded a ban on landfill for combustible waste in February 1996. With the creation of a Foundation, the car importers laid the Foundation for the search and implementation of environmentally sound and economically viable solution for the recovery of ASR (Shredder light fraction). About a quarter of the weight of the vehicle accrues after shredding as ASR. ASR consists of plastics, rubber, pulp, textiles, glass and dirt, and includes around 10 percent residual metals because of the coarse separation in the shredder process. ASR is hazardous waste.
After extensive investigations ASR could be disposed of thermally from MSWI (muncipal solid waste incineration plant) from 1996 onwards. The mixing ratio for the House refuse was set to 5% by the Federal Office for the environment.
Thus the emission behavior does not change, the organic substances are burnt and slag can be deposited without any risk to the environment in the landfills. So reduce the volume by 70 percent and the mass by 50 percent. The high calorific value of ASR is used as valuable energy for producing electricity and district heating.
Compared with the previous deposit, this step means a great environmental progress. However, higher costs associated with this recovery. To create a balance to the lower landfill costs of foreign works of the shredder, paid the Foundation disposal contributions to Swiss Shredder works. Control and calculation basis, the shredder works must submit the cancelled logbooks of shredded vehicle.
In addition to the MSWI solution, the Foundation examined further procedures. But no environmentally and economically better technology on the market is up today. Also technical improvements in the treatment of MSWI residues are emerging, which represent a further stage of development. First, the waste heat and power plant in Hinwil, then the MSWI Monthey have realized the dry slag discharge. Compared with the usual wet discharge, this system has some advantages such as better quality and quantity of sorting metals. In a large-scale project of Hinwil, the focus on the recovery of fine metals under 5 mm grain size is examined. Measurements with ASR which are financially supported by the Foundation are intended.
With the wholly owned since the year 2000 ASR thermal recycling, Switzerland within Europe holds a leading position. The Foundation is however open to consider alternative solutions which are ecologically and economically better than that practiced today.