Banner Vehicles July 2019

Automotive Dismantling and Recycling

Did you know that automobiles are the most recycled consumer product in the world today? And almost all the parts of a car or any other vehicle can be removed, recovered and recycled with a recycling rate greater than 90% for most typical vehicles.

The common recycled parts of a car include the tyres, windshield glass, batteries, steel/iron, other metals, wheels, radiators, transmissions, engines, most if not all electrical components, hoses, carpets, car seats, seatbelts, oil filters, mats and the list goes on.

Dismantling & RecyclingThe dismantling/recycling industry is a genuine sustainable industry, it’s the 16th largest in the United States, contributing about $25 billion per year to the national GDP.

According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, every year about 95% of vehicles are retired from the U.S. roads and streets. With around 12 million vehicles reaching the end of their useful lives each year, that’s a lot of recycling and reuse of auto parts.

Every year in the U.S., about 220 million old tyres are generated, with an 80% recycling rate. Recycled tyres are often used for pavement bases for new roadways or children’s playgrounds.

Vehicle Glass RecyclingRecycled glass from vehicles is used to create tile flooring, glass beads, porcelain, countertops, and even jewellery. A lot of vehicle glass is recycled back into vehicles that need replacement door glass or windshields. Recycling a ton of glass can save around 40L of oil from being used in the production of new glass.

Vehicle batteries are recycled to produce new ones. Steel, iron and aluminium from dismantled vehicles are commonly used to produce many different products or recycled into new vehicle parts. The automobile recycling industry in the U.S. and Canada provides sufficient steel to produce about 13 million new vehicles. A vehicle at the end of its life cycle or damaged beyond repair, may be sold to a dismantling or vehicle-recycling facility.

Once the vehicle arrives at the dismantling or recycling facility, in many cases it will go through five basic steps.

  1. Detailed inspection and testing: A dismantling/recycling facility inspects and tests the vehicle to see what parts can be recovered and then recycled. If repair is not an option, the recycling facility proceeds with dismantling, rebuilding and/or recycling.
  2. Draining the fluids: The dismantling/recycling facility drains the different fluids such as engine oil, petrol, diesel, antifreeze, transmission oil, brake lubricants and other fluids. Operators segregate hazardous liquids and accumulate them for safe disposal. Liquids such as petrol, diesel and oil are filtered and reused.
  3. Valuable parts: The car engine, transmission and other major parts are lifted from the car chassis and usable parts are removed and cleaned. Other components such as wheels, tyres and batteries are also removed for resale or recycling. Precious metals within the exhaust system and wiring are also recovered and recycled.
  4. Recovered vehicle parts: Some car parts are reusable as is, while others are repaired or rebuilt. The recycling facility may sell these parts through a dedicated used-parts sales component, to local and national repair workshops or to the general public.
  5. Vehicle CrushingCrushing and shredding: Once all the recyclable car parts, except metals such as iron, steel and aluminium are sorted out and stored or sold, all that remains is the vehicle body, made up of different metals. This is then crushed and shredded into a metal cube about the size of a small microwave oven which is then used in a variety of industries.

How is that for efficiency and sustainability?

Next time you need to update something broken or not working on your vehicle, your first thought should be to use a recycled vehicle part. Then your vehicle can continue its useful life running in support of you and your family.

April 2021


Parts Connection
Capricorn Preferred Supplier
Automotive Recyclers Association


0800 777 525
11 Honan Place,
Avondale, Auckland 1026
8:00 am - 5:00 pm