ATF stands for Authorised Treatment Facility and it is a term that appears on a lot of the official information you may see relating to car recycling. Holding an ‘ATF permit’ means those recycling businesses have been licensed by that region’s Environment Agency to depollute scrap cars to specific standards.
The standards for ATFs are set by the government and they ensure that vehicles are treated in accordance with the End of Life Vehicle Regulations. Which, in simple terms, means they will be recycled responsibly and legally.
The regulations were introduced in Ireland in 2006 and require scrap cars to be depolluted before destruction. This involves the removal of fluids, tyres, batteries and hazardous materials, before any of the remaining parts or materials can be reused or recycled. As of 2015, 95% of the weight of each car must also be recycled.
Local authorities check and monitor ATFs in their region. Those checks involve ensuring staff and facilities are capable of safely handling hazardous materials, that there are the correct disposal and hygiene measures in place to protect human and environmental health, and that high standards of business operation are in place. It is also expected that an ATF will report the information relating to vehicles handled to the right authorities.
Ireland’s Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, provides guidance to local authorities on regulations and offences related to the disposal of end of life vehicles.
ATFs are the only organisations permitted to issue car owners with a Certificate of Destruction – an essential document to prove responsibility for the vehicle has ceased.
Despite regulations, there are still illegal scrap yards operating across the country, so it is essential to check that you are recycling your car at an ATF. All CarTakeBack recycling centres are ATFs, so wherever you live you can be assured you are protecting the environment and fulfilling your legal responsibilities.