The Most Commonly Recycled Car Parts

The vehicle recycling industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, and it generates over $20 billion a year. But, it’s far from reaching its full potential. Each year, 11 million cars are recycled, but that number could be much higher if more car owners start realizing how beneficial car recycling is, both to the environment and the economy. Today, about 80 percent of the materials used in car manufacturing are recycled. With the way technology is advancing, and more and more auto recycling companies are embracing new, more sophisticated technology solutions, this industry should continue to grow and provide car manufacturers with more recycled materials.

 Most cars contain about 70 percent metal. There are all sorts of metal components in cars, including brake pads, pistons, engine blocks, and so on. Most of these parts are made of steel, and there are other parts that are made of aluminum, iron, copper or zinc. At the beginning of the recycling process, some metal parts are cleaned and then melted down. Then, after the metal is cooled, it goes to a processing facility and it is formed into other parts. A lot of these recycled parts are used to build new cars. There are metal parts that are not melted down, such as wheels and wheel covers, which are just cleaned and can be bought as used parts. If they can’t be reused, they are scrapped and then other metal components are made from them.

 Apart from metal, there are other materials in cars, as well, including plastic, rubber, glass, and fabrics. Plastic is used in the car manufacturing process to make bumpers and various parts in a car’s interior, including buttons, door handles, roof panels, parts of the dashboard, and so on. Almost all plastic components in a car can be reclaimed and used to make parts for new cars. Most car batteries are covered with plastic casings, which are also recycled.

 There are lots of components in a car that are made of rubber, such as tires, hoses, belts, among others. 80 percent of all disposed tires in the United States are recycled. Some of that recycled rubber is used to make new car tires, but it serves other purposes, as well, such as for making floor mats and brake pedals.

 Cars’ windows are made of glass, which is a material that can be recycled countless times.  After it gets recycled, it is used to manufacture porcelain, jewelery, and it is also used in the concrete making process.

 Car seats and cars’ upholstery are also recycled. Over 90 percent of the materials that car seats are made of can be recycled. So, new padding products can be made from the foam that can be found in car seats and floor mats. There are a lot of fluids in cars, including engine oil, gasoline, and coolant. If there is any oil or coolant left in your car when you take it to the scrap yard, it is removed from the car and it can be later reused.

 Author’s bio:

Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “green cars” specialist. He is an author of many how-to articles related to safe driving, green technologies, DMV, auto insurance etc.