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.
The 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.
Recycled 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.
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.