Our business naturally requires great quantities of materials. Therefore, one of the focal points of our development tasks is to keep the requirement for natural resources as low as possible. In particular, we strive to limit the use of raw materials that are only available in limited quantities and are frequently associated with a great ecological burden, in the early stages of development. In addition to the economical use of resources, the reconditioning of components and the recycling of used materials play an important role.
Consistently high recyclability. During vehicle development we also prepare a recycling concept, in which all components and materials are examined with a view to their suitability for the various stages of the recycling process. As a result, all Mercedes-Benz models are 85 percent recyclable and 95 percent recoverable.
The key aspects of our activities in this area are:
- The resale of tested and certified used parts through the Mercedes-Benz Used Parts Center (GTC)
- The remanufacturing of used parts
- The workshop waste disposal system MeRSy Recycling Management.
Workshop waste disposal and end-of-life vehicle returns
Removal of workshop waste with MeRSy
Our MeRSy Recycling Management System for disposing workshop waste helps to collect and recycle waste material created during the maintenance or repair of our vehicles. If recycling is not possible, the system ensures that the material is professionally disposed of. By now this applies to 35 fractions, including plastic parts, batteries, packaging materials, catalysts, old tires as well as brake fluid and coolant. In 2014, a total of 32,036 tons of old parts and materials were collected and recycled. Around 950 tons of coolant and 749 tons of brake fluid were reconditioned.
Europe-wide take-back network for end-of-life vehicles
Our customers can easily return their old cars. We guarantee that they are professionally disposed of in accordance with the EU’s directive on end-of-life vehicles. To this end, we have established networks for returning end-of-life vehicles in all EU countries or are part of manufacturer-independent take-back networks.
Recycling of electromobility components. The research project Motor Recycling (MoRe), which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, is dedicated to the question of how components and valuable materials from electric powertrains can be recycled and reused. Daimler is a part of the consortium from industry and research, which is examining the entire electro-automotive value chain as part of MoRe — from the design and production of engines to reuse in the vehicle. In this context, various aspects of the recycling of engines are analyzed:
- Removal of magnets from the old engines
- Repair and subsequent reuse of electric motors or their components
- Recycling of magnet materials and rare earth metals.