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Britain "faces escalation of car dumping"

Making the last owners of cars responsible for disposal and recycling costs under the EU ELV Directive could make Britain's abandoned car problem much worse, according to European Metal Recycling Ltd, which has commissioned a MORI poll on the subject.

Graeme Carus, director of business development at European Metal Recycling, pointed to the findings of a recent MORI survey commissioned by the firm, in which 24% of respondents from lower income households (with up to £17,499 income per year), the segment of the population most likely to own defunct vehicles, indicated that they were not prepared to pay the costs of disposal.

Given a conservative estimate that a £20 charge may be levied, a significant 74% of the MORI poll respondents thought more vehicles would be abandoned, with 40% predicting a major increase.

The Government has decided the last owners of a vehicle will be responsible for disposal costs until January 2007, when the manufacturers are expected to pick up costs, and has promised local authorities extra funding to manage any increase in abandoned vehicles. The latest official estimates indicate up to 350,000 vehicles are currently abandoned in the UK each year

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