Everything You Need To Know About Automotive Recycling

Here's why you need to recycle your car

Felix Yim

6 months ago|4 min read


Do you know that the global market for recycling waste was valued at around $56 billion in 2020? Well, that includes recycled material from the automotive industry as well. Recycling your car can offer a lot of benefits. However, if you lack experience in recycling such material, just like millions of other US citizens, you should read on.

Some Causes Why Car Will End Up Rotting Away In A Junkyard:

In 2020, the US automobile industry produced over 2.2 million automobile units that entered the national fleet. Since so many automobiles come onto the roads in the US roads every year, where do the existing ones go? The junkyard! Here are some reasons behind it.

Lack of Maintenance

One of the main reasons cars go to a junkyard is the owner’s irresponsibility and uninformed maintenance routines. This happens with most first-time car owners who have no idea how to maintain and check the car for any errors or faults on a regular basis.

Bad Accident

Having tough luck on the road is a great misfortune. If your car was involved in a severe accident or part of any illegal activity, there are only two places it could go: police car impound (evidence needs) or a junkyard (recycling purposes).

Wear And Tear

Wear and tear are an inevitable part of owning an automobile. Depending on how well a car owner maintains their car, the rate of wear and tear can be very low or high.


Drivers reported around 189,000 highway vehicle fires in the US at the end of 2019! Head-on collision with hazardous Automotives (petrol tankers etc.) is among the most common reasons for vehicle fires.

Floods and Other Natural Disasters

Natural disasters like tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes lead to expensive property damages and loss of life. In addition, harsh weather conditions can also mean your car ends up in the junkyard.


Aging vehicles are the most common types that you will come across in nearly any automotive junkyard. Since no one wants an obsolete and damaged car, such vehicles end up in the junkyard.

Theft and Stripping

Usually, car thieves strip their target vehicle for all the expensive items and valuable components they can get their hands on. Once a car is stolen and stripped, owners usually send it to a junkyard rather than spending money on expensive repairs and restorations.

Failure of a Major Mechanical Component or System

Cars failure can leave you stranded in the middle of a road. Besides causing immense distress, they’re frustrating to repair. Hence, car owners opt to take their vehicle to the junkyard when a major component or system fails.

Importance of Recycling

Firstly, having a damaged or non-functioning vehicle on the road is an accident hazard. Secondly, they require extensive repairs, which can cost nearly half the price of a new car. Furthermore, car breakdowns cause traffic disruptions and stress.

Through automotive recycling, the nation receives a small proportion of metal without running mills and extraction sites. This saves costs and reduces the negative effects on the environment.

What Are the Environmental Benefits

·       Less air pollution

·       Less demand for raw materials

·       Lower energy demands and costs

·       Less waste tire garbage

·       Fewer junkyards

·       Less utilization of finite natural resources to produce auto units

·       Less fuel consumption

Economic and Financial Benefits

·       The automotive recycling industry is worth over $30 billion in the US

·       The automotive recycling industry helps sustain employment

·       Precious metal extraction from modern catalytic converters

·       Monetary value realization even from non-functional clunkers

·       Cost-effective method for producing car replacement parts and components

Material Composition of Cars and Recyclable Parts

Here’s a list of different materials that typically make up a modern automotive:

·       Metals (iron, steel, magnesium, copper, platinum, lead, rhodium, etc.)

·       Carbon Fiber

·       Rubber

·       Plastics

·       Carpet

·       Foam Padding

·       Fabric

·       Gear Oil

·       Glass

·       Air Conditioning Components

·       Fluids (transmission and brake)

·       Ceramics

·       Electronics

In simple words, only a handful of the listed components are extractable, which makes them recyclable. Similarly, some components can’t be extracted without causing further damage or pollution; the material is deemed unrecyclable.

Tips for the Car Owners

Being a first-time car owner can be difficult. However, here’re a few tips you should know.

Stay On Top Of Your Car’s Regular Maintenance

As a car owner, make sure you’re attending to your four-wheeler like it’s a valuable asset. Conduct routine checks, inspect for damages and send it for tuning as per schedules.

Keep Emergency Tools at Hand for Tire, Batts, and Engine

To keep your trip to the junkyard planned for later, make sure you have all the necessary tools at hand. You should consider investing in an oscilloscope multimeter to make emergency checks on your car when needed.

Consider Having a Dash Cam to Protect You from Accidents

A dashcam provides video footage of an accident or event that involved your car. This could be helpful for a police investigation or insurance company evaluation.

Final thoughts

Automotive recycling is good for the environment as it reduces energy costs, raw material production, and air pollution. If you haven’t considered recycling your car, you should speak with the best automotive recycling business and learn how much cash you can receive in return for your clunker.


Felix Yim

Felix is the co-founder of GrowthBoost, an online journal covering the latest software and marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Alongside digital journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects.



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