Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- Automobile Edition

Posted on: 8 December 2015

Almost everyone knows that cars can be recycled for scrap metal or used parts, but did you know that with several models, the vehicle is mostly recyclable? Even for old clunker cars, more of the car can be recycled than you might think. Here are the top 7 most surprising things that you can recycle from your old car.

1. Mats and Carpet

Carpeting inside the car is very similar to carpeting in the home. An estimate done in 2003 guesses that there are approximately 5 billion tons of carpet that go into the landfill every year. When you recycle the carpeting in your car, it goes into the making of composite lumber, tile backer board, roof shingles, railroad ties, and so much more.

2. Belts, Chains, and Hoses

Often times, cars are sent to the junk yard because they have been in a car accident. However, that doesn't mean the whole car is unusable. Belts and chains that are still in good condition are easily used again- often at a much cheaper cost than buying a new part. The same is true for any rubber hoses under the hood.

3. Plastic Pieces

Just like a plastic bottle is recyclable, you can recycle anything made of plastic inside your vehicle. Lights, covers, buttons, the dashboard, and even some bumpers are easy to transform into newer versions of these necessarily car parts.

4. Batteries

More than 98% of battery lead is recycled, much of it used to make a new battery. In fact, a brand new battery typically contains 60 to 80% recycled lead and plastic. These are easy to recycle since most scrap yards will take them. Some auto part retailers will even give you a discount on a new one if you recycle it through their business.

5. Engines and Transmission Systems

While these may not be recyclable at a recycling center, many people have made a profession off rebuilding these vital parts. They can then turn around and resell them for less than their newer counterparts, offering an environmentally-friendly solution. The same is true for other car parts like the water pump, starters, and alternators.

6. Engine Oil

Changing the oil in your car at the recommended time of every 5,000 miles or six months can lead to a lot of oil being used around the world. Cars run best on clean oil, but it doesn't have to be brand new oil. Motor oil gets dirty, but it can be used over and over again. There are so many different recycling centers built to clean and repackage used motor oil that there is really no excuse to not recycle it.

7. Windshields

Modern windshields are built as a sheet of glass between two plastic layers. The broken glass is recycled to create glass bottles, fiberglass insulation, and more, while the plastic is able to be recycled with the other plastic components of the car.

To learn more about recycling, contact a company like TVM Recycling