Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with Michelin CrossClimate all-season tyres

How recyclable are modern cars?

Vehicle recyclers must follow a number of specific requirements to ensure that every component will be recovered or recycled in a proper manner. The process will include the steps that are needed for the safe disposal of parts and fluids that are deemed inappropriate for recycling or resale.

If you are looking to sell your car for scrap you may be interested to know ten car parts that have the ability to be recycled.

1) Engine Oil

You may think that it is impossible to salvage old engine oil, but you would be incorrect. The oil that is contained in your car simply does not go bad like old milk, it simply gets too dirty to function properly.

Used engine oil can be brought to a collection centre, where it will be cleaned and able to be reused. When engine oil is improperly disposed of it has a huge impact on water and soil, all of which is negative.

2) Windows and Windscreen

Windows and windscreens used to be rather difficult to recycle due to the fact that they are often fixed between various layers of plastic.

However, vehicle design is constantly improving and glass is beginning to be recovered and recycled in a much faster manner.

3) Scrap Metal

Every vehicle features various metal components, all together they comprise a huge part of the car. There are a number of elements such as the axles, rims, handles that can all be sold to a scrap dealer when the vehicle has ended its life and can be reused on other cars.

4) Car Batteries

One of the most popular items for recycling is the car battery, which can also be one of the biggest problems if handled incorrectly. Car batteries contain a number of various toxic chemicals that can threaten the environment if they are not cared for.

It is illegal to throw out a car battery with your household trash. Car batteries, which are also known as “wet cell Batteries, may be recycled through a process that dismantles the battery into a number of elements. Each of these parts may be reused, while other elements will need to be melted down and neutralised.

5) Car Tyres

Burning the tyre from a car is only going to generate high levels of air pollution in your neighborhood as well as create a toxic runoff. A reputable dealer is going to ensure that tyres are reused and recycled in a proper manner. Through these efforts the tyres may be turned into rubber crumb chippings or rubberized asphalt.

6) Plastic Components

We all know that the modern vehicle contains a lot of plastic, bumpers, lighting fixtures, levers, dashboards, trim as well as the fuel tank. While it may be hard to believe, over 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans on a yearly basis, creating one of the most challenging environmental aspects we have seen.

The plastic that is contained in your old vehicle can be easily recycled through a mechanical chop and wash, during this process it will be ground down and melted for the purpose of reuse.

7) Oil Filters

If there is one aspect of your car that is unsightly, it is the old oil filter. These items are filled with sludge and engine oil. Oil filters are considered to be contaminated waste by the Environmental Agency, and have put strict regulations in place regarding their disposal and re-use.

However, both the dirty oil and the steel components can be recycled. Oil has the ability to be refined into fuel or lubricants, whereas the steel components can be processed to make appliances, construction materials, new cars, and cans.

8) Car Engines

If your car engine just does not really want to see another day on the road, you can easily allow it to continue but in a new form. Depending upon the overall condition of the engine, there are a number of ways in which it can be recycled.

If your engine is considered complete scrap, all of the raw materials and metal will be extracted and melted down to form new products. Aluminum is highly beneficial when recycling as it does not deteriorate while it is melted.

Some engines may be able to continue either in reconditioned or remanufactured form. If your engine is still running, it can be sold as a whole unit, in this case it may be fully dismantled and sold for parts or reconditioned for use in another vehicle.

9) Carpeting and Car Mats

Carpets and mats are very easy to recycle and those in your car are no exception. There are a number of ways in which your carpeting can be recycled.

If the carpeting or mats are in good condition, they can be sold or gifted to another individual.

However, if they are in no condition to be sold, there are several other methods. Old carpet is often used by gardeners to help insulate their compost piles and lessen the number of weeds.

An estimated 2.2 billion kilograms of carpet end up in the landfill on a yearly basis. This is an incredible figure considering the fact that carpet is not biodegradable. In addition, disposed car mats add to this problem, making recycling essential.

10) Starters and Alternators

Alternators and starters are very expensive elements for individuals to replace. However, they can be recycled and reconditioned allowing them to be as good as new.

If you have an alternator of starter that is fully brown, it has the ability to be dismantled and recycled into a number of products.