By Mahnaz Abdi

Car scrapping industry dormant; scrap imported

February 28, 2021 - 16:51

TEHRAN- It’s a couple of years that Iran has launched a car scrappage scheme, mainly aimed at reducing air pollution, especially in the capital Tehran.

Although a considerable number of worn-out vehicles were junked in line with the mentioned scheme, the scheme has not been carried out as scheduled, and there are many worn-out cars waiting to be scrapped.

The chairman of the Association of Car Scrapping Centers has recently said that there are currently three million worn-out vehicles in the country, and the number will reach eight million by the Iranian calendar year 1404 (March 2025 – March 2026).

“If this condition continues in this way, we need a thousand years to scrap such high number of cars”, Mahmoud Mashhadi-Sharif lamented.

Making the remarks in a press conference, he said 150 out of 220 centers for scrapping and recycling the light and heavy vehicles in the country are now closed, and the rest are active with a less than 10 percent of capacity.

“While it was planned to scrap 30 percent of the worn-out vehicles since [the Iranian calendar year] 1388 (March 2009 – March 2010), but in the past year, just 8,000 out of the 360,000 worn-out cars were scrapped.

As stated by Amir Ahmadi, the secretary of the aforesaid association, “Although we have the capacity to scrap 360,000 vehicles a year, due to the government's negligence, we will face a tsunami of worn-out vehicles in a few years”.

Lagging behind the scrappage scheme is one of the main reasons for the air pollution, especially in Tehran, while also there are other challenges in this regard.

One challenge is that while there are many worn-out vehicles in the country, at present, scrap and scrap iron are imported to meet the needs of steel mills.

Although car scrapping and recycling centers are one of the main suppliers of scrap iron to steel mills, due to the recession that has occurred in the last few years, the government has authorized the import of scrap iron and the needs of steel mills are currently met through importing scrap and scrap iron, he stated.

“We in the country have the capacity to scrap 360,000 worn-out cars annually and turn them into scrap and scrap iron, but considering that the government and the authorities do not care about this area, last year we were able to scrap only 8,000 cars and thus scrap iron production also declined; however, there is no need to import scrap metal if the scrapping centers are active with their full capacity”, according to Ahmadi.

In addition to polluting the air and consuming too much fuel, the traffic of worn-out vehicles in cities endangers the lives of their owners due to lack of safety.

And all these factors put emphasis on the need to take required measures for complete implementation of the scrappage scheme.

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