Complete guide about Environmentally Sound Management of ELV (End-of-Life Vehicles)

ELV or End-of-Life Vehicles in India include everything from small two and three-wheelers or cars to large trucks, buses and trailers. Surprisingly, by 2025, the count of ELV in the country is expected to reach 2,18,95,439. Thus, proper End-of-Life Vehicles management becomes quite important. The management of ELV includes handling, collection, transportation, processing, storage and channelising waste or materials generated during processing to authorised waste disposal or recycling facilities, respectively.

But wait! Besides human health, these activities can severely affect the environment. Therefore, environmentally sound management of ELV in India becomes vital. This is indeed required for the circular economy, environment conservation and sustainable development. So, if you’re also planning to deal with End-of-Life Vehicles, read on to know the complete details.

So basically, ELV are defined as vehicles that are-

  • declared unfit through Automated Fitness Centres; or
  • no longer validly registered; or
  • their registrations have been cancelled due to an order of a Court of Law or under Chapter IV of the Motor Vehicles Act; or
  • are self-declared as a waste vehicle by the legitimate registered owner due to any situation as mentioned in the Motor Vehicles (Registration & Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021

In fact, End-of-Life Vehicles are broadly divided into pre-mature ELV and natural ELV. To clear the difference between the two, comprehend that pre-mature ELV refer are those vehicles that have come to end-of-life because of unnatural reasons like fire, an accident, flood or vandalism damage. On the other hand, natural ELV are those that have reached end-of-life due to wear and tear.

No wonder ELV comprise hazardous substances like lubricants, waste oil, batteries, electronic components, lamps, airbags, etc. The recovery of these materials is of prime importance but comes with the following concerns:

  • i. the recovery harms the health of the scrap recovery workers; and
  • ii. as stated above, it leads to environmental contamination

Thus, to overcome these problems, guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of ELV were framed, which must be adhered to without fail. Here are the complete details.

Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of ELV

For the first time, in 2016, Central Pollution Control Board came up with the “Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of ELV in India”. Later in 2019, these were further revised and termed as “Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Facilities for Handling, Processing & Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV)" as instructed by the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Salient features of the guidelines

These guidelines are aligned with the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy of the Ministry of Steel issued in 2019, Motor Vehicles (Registration and Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021, notified by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the Automobile Industry Standards for Collection and Dismantling of End-of-Life Vehicles, 2021.

Moreover, these guidelines clearly describe the facilities and procedures needed for establishing authorised vehicle scrapping facilities (AVSF) for ELVs in an environmentally sound manner. Additionally, compliance requirements under environmental regulations, including Waste Management Rules notified under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, are also mentioned for environmentally sound management of ELV.

Benefits or need of Environmentally Sound Management of ELV in India

As stated above, ELV are a treasure trove of metal and other materials that can be effectively fed back into the economy if recycled or recovered correctly. This, in return, lowers the environmental impacts of producing new or primary materials.

Secondary metals are processed using simple technologies needing less energy than primary metal processing. This further lowers the environmental impacts of resource usage.

Scrapping and reuse of vehicles offer an important opportunity for resource transformation. In recycling, non-ferrous and ferrous metals are recovered and used again.

Stages involved in Environmentally Sound Management of ELV in India

The following steps complete the process of managing the End-of-Life Vehicles in an environmentally sound manner -

1. De-pollution

End-of-Life Vehicle scrapping begins at the RVSF (Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility). At the facility, initially, de-pollution of the vehicle takes place which is then dismantled. De-pollution includes removing hazardous substances and components like – fuel, batteries, other fluids, catalysts, airbags and any parts containing mercury or toxic heavy metals. As the removed materials are hazardous, de-pollution must adhere to strict health and safety rules. Eventually, environmental contamination must be prevented. This is where Environmentally Sound De-Pollution of ELVs comes into the picture, and it follows the steps given below –

  • i. Starting the activity
  • ii. Disconnecting the battery and removing coolant, fuel oil filter, brake fuel, power steering caps, etc.
  • iii. Removing tyres and wheel, weight caps, wheel balancing
  • iv. Placing vehicle on support frame to access gas/fluid removal from below.
  • v. Inserting plugs on gravity holes.
  • vi. Placing vehicle on a concrete pad
  • vii. Checking
  • viii. Finally, ELV is de-polluted

As per the guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of ELV in India, all de-polluting activities must be performed as per section 15 within the scrap yard of the RVSF.

2. Dismantling

Once the automobile has been de-polluted, it is then dismantled. The process involves collecting and segregating reusable and recyclable components, excluding those listed in section 11.4 of AIS 129 (Part 1). The recovered fluids and pieces are sold for recycling (valuable metals, tires, carpets, etc.) or further reuse in other vehicles (motor parts, the hulk, fuel, batteries, etc.).

3. Wastewater treatment

All wastewater produced during these two processes must be treated.

4. Automotive Shredder residue (ASR)

On reaching this stage, the remaining structure of ELV, i.e. the hulk of the vehicle, is crushed. This is done to transport it in a cost-effective and compact form to the shredder facility. At the shredder, it is broken up into fist-sized pieces while following the norms related to the Environmentally Sound Management of ELV. Subsequently, the shredded material is separated into non-ferrous metals heavy automotive shredder residue (ASR), ferrous metals (metal recovery), and other materials (light ASR).

Associated Rules for setting up Vehicle Scrap Facility

The regulatory provisions for the environmentally safe recovery of non-hazardous and hazardous material in the ELV have been stated in the existing rules for waste management under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.

However, environmental compliance for recycling activities can be as per the prevailing laws like The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (Air Act) and The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (The Water Act).

A regulatory framework to encourage ELV scrapping is offered through Motor Vehicles (Registration and Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021 and the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy.

Environmental Regulations for ELV Scrapping

1. The wastes generated during environmentally sound scrapping of ELV must be managed as per many rules notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) under the EPA, 1986.

The following waste regulations have been notified by the ministry that apply to the recycling and management of ELV:

  • Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, as amended
  • Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • E-Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended
  • Batteries Waste Management Rules, 2022
  • EPR Guidelines for Waste Tyres, 2022, under HOWM Rules, 2016
  • Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation & Control) Rules, 2000

2. The hazardous substances and fluids in ELV must be disposed of or recycled as per Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016. Any recycling of the hazardous wastes recovered from End-of-Life Vehicles must be performed only by the registered recyclers notified under these rules.

3. EPR regulation offers a target for recycling waste batteries and tyres, wherein the producers are needed to channel the waste to authorised facilities for recycling, refurbishing, or recovery of material according to EPR guidelines for the management of waste tyres and Batteries Waste Management Rules 2022.

Collection, Handling and Storage of ELV


Establishing the ELV collection system is vital to support the End-of-Life Vehicles moment in a regulated way from its origin to the final destination for recycling, scrapping and disposal.

Public agencies generally auction ELV in bulk. The highest bidder becomes the buyer. Besides, several bulk generators of ELVs and automobile firms conduct regular sales of used vehicles through private agencies. Obtaining a Vehicle Auction License becomes unavoidable for this process.


ELV are generally large and need machines to handle them. Any vehicle that reaches end-of-life needs to be towed to the destination and lifted via cranes. Sufficient handling equipment is required for any ELV treatment, collection and recycling facility.

  • ELV must not be stored preferably for more than 15 days prior to de-pollution. It must be ensured that fluids do not leak or drip onto the ground.
  • ELV must be stored to protect the surrounding environment and their value.
  • A written record must be maintained of the vehicles stored.
  • After removing the battery, an End-of-Life Vehicle must be stored in an environment-friendly manner by adhering to certain laid conditions.
  • Used tyres must be stored appropriately, preventing excessive stockpiling and fire hazards.
  • The RVSFs must maintain records related to the transaction of vehicles and scrap generation. Furthermore, the facility must have the forms of all the equipment, machinery and apparatus in the premises and responsible disposal to authorised recyclers ready for inspection by the officials of CPCB/SPCB/ the Union territory Government and the Registration Authority or Designated Officer of the State Government.

Requirements for establishing authorised vehicle scrapping facilities (AVSF)

Facilities required

  • A de-pollution frame or lifting device
  • Pneumatic tools
  • Shredders or baler machines (hydraulic baling)
  • Various types of classifiers can separate particles of different sizes and weight classes.
  • Eddy-current separators (ECS)

Requirements for setting up of Vehicle Scrap Facility

  • Motor Vehicles (Registration & Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021, notified by MoRTH outlines the process of setting up AVSF.
  • The Scrap Facility must first obtain a MoRTH Registration.
  • Registered RVSFs are liable to make suitable entries in the VAHAN database related to the scrapping of the vehicle. These facilities are then eligible for issuance of Certificate of Deposit and Certificate of Scrapping.
  • An efficient infrastructure for large-scale operations within the ELV scrapping facility is the involvement of producers of vehicles. The proposed system for the ELV recycling facility is just an illustrative model and may be upgraded occasionally.
  • Land of adequate space to support setting up of RVSFs.

Procedure to set up an RVSF

  • Obtain registration from the State Registration Authority of the specific UT or State Government where the Vehicle Scrap Facility will be established.
  • Get design approvals and requisite layout from the concerned SPCB/PCC.
  • Fulfil the minimum requirements according to Rule 13 of the Motor Vehicles (Registration and Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021.
  • Get Vehicle Cutting License.
  • Obtain Environmental Clearances (EC).
  • Prepare an Environmental Management Plan (EMP).
  • Obtain Consents to Establish and Consent to Operate.
  • Get Authorisation under HOWM Rules, 2016, from the concerned SPCB/PCC. Plastic waste must be sold or given to an authorised recycler, and similarly, solid waste must be handed to an official waste collector of ULBs.
  • Obtain a written plan stating the facility's environmental compliance and performance risk management objectives.
  • Comply with the guidelines of CPCB for storing and transporting hazardous waste.
  • Capacity building and training for employees at different levels must be given occasionally.
  • Complete an Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) audit.
  • RVSFs and the Operator of Collection Centre(s) must preferably accredit their facility/centres according to ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System).
  • The dismantling/de-polluting/shredding facility must maintain a record of wastes managed in Form 3 of the said guidelines. This must be submitted to the SPCB, an annual return having the details mentioned in Form 4 before or on the 30th day of June in the next financial year to which that return relates.

At last, a lot goes into the environmentally sound scrapping of ELV, but it is undoubtedly worth the hype.

Diksha Khiatani

A writer by day and a reader at night. Emerging from an Engineering background, Diksha has completed her M. Tech in Computer Science field. Being passionate about writing, she started her career as a Writer. She finds it interesting and always grabs time to research and write about Environmental laws and compliances. With extensive knowledge on content writing, she has been delivering high-quality write-ups. Besides, you will often find her with a novel and a cuppa!

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