Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

Adam Hewitt
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BVSF provide coronavirus advice

Roger West, Secretary-General of the BVSF has released the following information regarding the coronavirus:

 

BVSF Coronavirus

Coronavirus & Vehicle Collection/Recovery

The BVSF has been asked to investigate the potential for a recovery driver catching coronavirus (Covid-19) from a vehicle that he or she is collecting from a person identified as carrying the illness. 

It must be made very clear that BVSF staff are NOT experienced or medically trained so are relying on information found and received when investigating this potential and cannot be held responsible for any expert errors in this regard.

The new coronavirus is, as we know, a respiratory illness, which means it typically spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets carrying viral particles can land on someone else’s nose or mouth or get inhaled.

But, a person can also catch the new coronavirus if they touch a surface or object that has viral particles on it and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lifespan of the virus on a surface — a door handle, a stair bannister, or even money — depends on many factors, including the surrounding temperature, humidity, and type of surface.

Although we are initially advised the likely lifespan is only hours to perhaps a day, the variables can make the life expectancy, potentially a lot longer.

How long the coronavirus survives on surfaces

A study recently published in the Journal of Hospital Infection looked at the lifespans of other coronaviruses found in humans on various surfaces. The SARS coronavirus, for example, at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, lasted for two days on steel, four days on wood and glass, and five days on metal, plastic, and ceramics. (The researchers also found that one strain of SARS lasted up to nine days on a plastic surface at room temperature.)

It is suggested that these timescales are likely to apply to the new coronavirus since smooth, nonporous surfaces like doorknobs and tabletops are better at carrying viruses in general. Porous surfaces — like money, hair, and fabric — don’t allow viruses to survive as long because the small spaces or holes in them can trap the microbe and prevent its transfer.

Your smartphone, with all its glass and aluminium, can also carry viral particles.

Based on the above, it would appear that a vehicle could conceivably pose a danger to a recovery staff member for a week, perhaps even a little longer after having an infected person within it sneezing/coughing etc.

As members of the BVSF, it is up to you how you deal with this potential timescale as of course, you will not be sure when the last time a carrier of the illness will have been in the car potentially leaving the virus in there.

The surrounding temperature makes a big difference

The recent study also found that spikes in temperature caused a difference in the lifespans of coronaviruses. A 10-degree Centigrade jump, from 20 degrees to 30 degrees, decreased how long SARS lasted on steel surfaces by at least 50%.

That’s because some coronaviruses, including this new one, have a fat layer that protects viral particles when travelling from person to person in the air. That sheath can dry out, however, killing the virus.  humidity, moderate temperatures, low wind, and a solid surface are all good for a coronavirus’ survival which could be a problem for members when getting into a car owned or used by a coronavirus sufferer.

This also explains why respiratory viruses are typically seasonal as cooler temperatures help harden the protective gel-like coating that surrounds the particles.

How to disinfect surfaces

The authors of the recent study noted that human coronaviruses could be “efficiently inactivated” on surfaces within one minute if they’re cleaned with solutions containing 62% to 71% ethanol alcohol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite.

It is possible that these surface disinfectants could even work within 15 seconds according to experts but to get the kill rates advertised on the packaging, it usually involves waiting for several minutes — between five minutes and six minutes.” BUT, how much of a car do you clean?

Stop touching your face, and wash your hands

The importance of washing your hands and not touching your face must be strongly emphasised — those are the best ways to minimise your chance of picking up the coronavirus from surfaces.

However, the “experts” advise that you cannot become infected through your hands alone so if you never touch your eyes, nose or mouth you will be far safer….how many of us can manage that though!

The BVSF…using widely available external information.

Visit www.bvsf.org.uk

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction www.salvagemarket.co.uk drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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