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The Greener way to Car Disposal in the UK

By Green Guest | May 25, 2011

In the UK approximately two million vehicles come off the roads annually and up to half of these scrap vehicles are not disposed of in and environmentally responsible way. Instead many are simply abandoned or scrapped externally of Authorised Treatment Facilities which serves to advance numerous ecological hazards. Soil leaching is a common side-effect with oil, brake fluid and mercury switches being the main contributors, while other parts such as tyres are non-biodegradable and are simply left to burn. One young British entrepreneur however is turning this around with his social enterprise Giveacar.

Established in January 2010 Tom Chance, a graduate from the University of Nottingham, adopted the idea of car donation– commonly used in North America- as a means to aid charity, at the same time as implementing a scheme that would encourage people to dispose of their cars in an environmentally viable way. Operating from his bedroom in South London, and using a combination of SEO, PR and word-of-mouth, Chance set into motion an operation that has seen in excess of £350,000 ($552) raised for over 400 charities worldwide. The business has subsequently expanded to a five man operating team, allowing for increased capacity in the handling of unwanted cars.

The Giveacar team organises for the cars to be collected within 24-48 hours of the individual contacting Giveacar, immediately detaching the individual from the often hassling and tiresome process of selling or scrapping of an unwanted car. The donor is left with the simple task of choosing a charity to be the recipient of the cars profit. By contracting salvage partners that employ the use of regularly audited Authorised Treatment Facilities, Chance ensures the donated vehicles unviable for refurbishment and sale, are de-polluted before scrapping, which allows for 85% of the vehicle’s weight to be recovered and recycled.

Chance’s venture has not been without recognition, having been featured on TV stations such as the BBC News and across British National newspapers. In addition Chance was winner of the 2010 Young Achievers Award, listed as one of the top ten young social entrepreneurs at the 2010 Future 100 Awards and Giveacar has reached the final stages of a National newspaper’s Ethical Business Award 2011.

As the first organisation of its kind in the UK, Giveacar is a standout example of how a simple idea can have a positive impact on the environment and society and Chance see’s potential for considerable growth. There are many more recyclable goods that are financially viable to donate such as mobile phones and fridges, and as Giveacar continues to grow it will be able to extend the scope and breadth of its operation to facilitate such diversity. Not only has Giveacar successfully tapped into a new source of revenue for charities at a time when the economic climate is having a severe impact on the number of donations charities receive, but it is also helping to raise UK awareness over the environmental impacts of careless car disposal, going a small- but not insignificant way- to saving our planet.

Read more about Giveacar at

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