Car Recycling: What You Need To Know

car recycling stats

Every car reaches an end to their life, whether it be of old age, a car wreck, or engine failure. When your car reaches that point, what do you do with it? You could sell it, but you may have a hard time doing so if it doesn’t run. You could let it sit in your driveway for years to come while whatever value it does have depreciates even more.

Here’s a better option… recycle your old car. If you’ve never considered car recycling before, here’s what you need to know:

The Basics of Car Recycling

Car recycling is a huge industry, being the 16th largest in the US. With 95% of retired passenger vehicles being processed for recycling every year, the automotive recycling industry sees $32 billion in sales per year.

Over 80% of a car can be recycled for the manufacturing of new cars or other consumer products. Parts such as transmissions, engines, alternators, doors, batteries, and bumpers can be reused in other vehicles. Tires and plastics from a car can be recycled into other consumer products, such as tile flooring or more tires.

The other 20% of a vehicle that cannot be recycled is called auto shredder residue, or ASR, which includes metal pieces, dirt, glass, fabric, paper, wood, plastic, and rubber. ASR is disposed of in landfills, resulting in 5 million tons of waste every year. There are efforts underway to reduce the amount of waste, such as California’s new regulations for disposing of ASR.

How It Works

The process of car recycling has procedures in place to reduce the environmental impact and to get the most out of recycled cars.

  • Depollution

    This is the first step in the car recycling process where all hazardous fluids and materials are properly drained and disposed of. Fluids such as antifreeze, freon, lead and mercury are hazardous wastes that are safely disposed of. Other fluids such as battery fluid, oil, transmission fluid, and engine coolant are either disposed of, kept as fuel for recycling yards, or resold if it’s of good quality.

  • Dismantling

    After depollution, the car is dismantled to save parts that can be used in the manufacturing of other cars. Parts like tires, glass, even headlights can be reused, and the most reused parts are engines, transmissions, and doors.

  • Destruction

    Once the cars have been depolluted and scrapped for parts, the car goes through the final phase of destruction. In this phase materials such as metal, steel, and upholstery are separated in the shredding process to produce other products. For example, steel is melted and formed into rebar, the steel bars used in the construction of buildings and roadways.

Environmental Impact of Car Recycling

Automobiles are the most recycled consumer product in the world, and it’s shown in the impact it has on the environment. Car recycling could be considered a sustainability need in that if cars were not recycled, society would not be sustainable 40 to 50 years from now.

Car recycling is a circular economy in that cars are manufactured, used, and recycled. The production of new materials is cut down significantly, which reduces air pollution and saves energy. For instance, recycling steel uses 75% less energy than producing new steel, and recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than producing it.

It also reduces the carbon footprint significantly. A carbon footprint study by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) found that when 165,000 cars are recycled, 2.2 million tons of CO2 is saved. To put that into perspective, around 12 million cars are recycled per year in the U.S.

Do You Get Paid To Recycle Your Car?

Yes! We can pay you cash for your junk car. If you have a car that has reached the end of its life, CashForCars Canada will buy it from you. We buy used cars, running or not and will even tow your junk car for free. Our easy, three step process makes it easier than ever to sell your junk car and receive cash in as little as 24 hours.

Give us a call at 1-800-261-9854 or fill out this form to receive an instant, guaranteed offer. If you like the offer we will schedule a time for pick up that is convenient for you, and you will receive payment at pickup. Sell your car today!