10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Auto Recycling

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

With a steady stream of nearly 40 million used cars being sold or traded every year, there’s no shortage of need for new parts. If you’re a car collector or just in the market for a replacement, auto recycling offers a lot of opportunities for finding parts or even entire vehicles. Auto recycling is also a great way to cycle your own vehicle back into the market.

Auto recycling involves almost any transaction with any part of a vehicle that doesn’t entail a new purchase.

Every person driving a used car will need to replace some element of their vehicle during the life of their car.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not auto recycling is appropriate for you or your old vehicle, you should get to know what makes it so valuable. Here are 10 reasons why auto recycling is a great idea.

1. Elements Can Be Reused

Auto recycling is great for the potential of putting parts back into the vehicular “ecosystem” so to speak. When a car breaks down, it’s most essential components don’t all turn to dust. Often a single major component breaks which makes it no longer feasible to be driven.

While the body, fluids, tires, or other elements of the vehicle might be in great shape, it’s become unrealistic to pay a steep bill to get it back on the road. Upcycling quality parts support local eco-friendly initiatives that please environmental activists and drivers alike.

If you know someone with the same make and model, offer your old parts to them. You might be able to save them money with a set of tires, replacement engine parts, or interior design components which can be overpriced and hard to find.

Help a friend and fellow driver out by passing your parts along.

2. Selling Is a Headache

Selling your car privately presents a set of headaches that come usually from your potential buyers. First, you have to find a venue to sell it. Going to a website that specifically sells cars could cost you a big chunk of your sale price, although it could help you find a seller quickly.

Going through Craigslist is still an option used by many people interested in alternatives to auto recycling. It’s a great place to get a good deal or get hooked up with a lemon.

Selling to a dealer presents you with another entire set of challenges you might not want to deal with. Dealers will try to find every possible way to cut the price and it might not be worth the hassle.

Auto recycling skips all of the issues of selling your car privately. You won’t have to negotiate trade-in amounts or haggle over details when you chose auto recycling.Â

3. Creating More Steel Is Inefficient

If you care about the environment, you probably have some idea of the amount of labor, materials, and energy used in generating steel. The process of generating steel entails mining, processing, and transportation methods that are all typically high energy processes.

Auto recycling lowers the need for new steel production. Recycling can cut down on all of the mining and processing energy. All that is left is dismantling and transportation. Even when steel is melted down for new materials, it’s still a much more energy-efficient process than starting from scratch.

Anytime you can cut down on the production of any kind of material, you help to slow the degradation of the environment. The generation of any kind of material requires the burning of irreplaceable materials. Auto recycling does away with those needs.

4. Fewer Greenhouse Gases

When you have heavy machinery pumping out energy to mine material, you end up getting a lot of smoke and burned fuel. The same thing happens when that heavy material gets transported by trucks or by trains.

Auto recycling does away with a lot of the energy-intensive processing that you find around a quarry. You’ll see a huge reduction in the amount of industrial greenhouse gases produced when you take material production out of the process.

As stated before, melting down steel requires some energy. But this energy creates far fewer greenhouse gases than other methods.

Consider auto recycling if the environment is important to you and you want a cleaner world.

Greenhouse gases help to amplify the intensity of global warming. Those radical carbon molecules that end up in the atmosphere can cause tears in the ozone and create a cloud that traps heat to the earth. Recycling in general is important because we need to lower the number of greenhouse gases created by industrial processes.

5. Limits Landfill Growth

If you like to see big green open spaces all around, you certainly wouldn’t welcome having them replaced with big ugly landfills. Auto recycling helps to keep those 25 million tons of wreckage and discarded materials from taking up landfill space. By pouring them back into auto production, we end up with smaller landfills and fewer gases created by their processing.

We already have a landfill crisis that’s going unrecognized by average Americans. Landfills keep growing and we don’t have a good solution for stopping them. Our best solution has been to burn trash, creating many of the aforementioned greenhouse gases.

On top of the materials used for cars, they contain a lot of toxic fluids. When cars are thrown into a landfill, the oil, gas, and various fluids in the engine are thrown out with them. That means toxic material dumped into the soil which will then end up in the water table eventually.

If you choose a junkyard for auto recycling, you’ll end up putting many of your car’s parts back into other cars.

6. Most Parts Are Recyclable

Most every part of a car is recyclable in one way or another. Whether it’s the plastic of your brake light covers or the metal of your trunk, three out of four car parts can be recycled.

While some will need to be put through a small amount of processing before they’re ready, many parts can not only be recycled but also resold. When cars get into accidents, buying a new part isn’t always cost-efficient or even possible for car owners. The best option sometimes is to buy used matching parts from a junkyard.

That’s how you sometimes see a blue car with one white door or a black hood. Usually, that car was in an accident and rather than have the old part hammered out, the car is fitted with a replacement part of a different color. This can sometimes add some character to an otherwise non-descript sedan.

Auto recycling remains as one of the most common types of recycling on the planet. With cars and auto parts circulating for decades in some countries, auto repair is sometimes an important part of the culture in emerging economies.

7. Improve Property Value

Leaving a car on your lawn or sitting in your garage can become a bit of an eyesore after a while. An old car that’s not maintained for its aesthetic value will drag the price of your home and the value of your neighborhood down.

Auto recycling keeps these vehicles from sitting in your driveway taking up valuable space or parked on your lawn, killing your grass or having plants grow through it. You can make an otherwise lovely home look neglected or decrepit.

Old cars are also irritating to deal with. The longer you wait to take care of an old car, the less likely you are to recycle it. Call up someone to tow it to a recycling facility as soon as you realize you won’t be repairing this vehicle. Otherwise, you might find a way to normalize this disrupting hunk of metal from sitting in your way for the next few years.

There’s a stereotype to having a car parked on your lawn or having an old beat up car sitting in your backyard. It brings negative associations to how well maintained your home is and whether or not you clean up after yourself.

Don’t let people think your home is less valuable and welcoming than it is with an old car sitting around.

8. Get Paid

Recycling your car doesn’t have to be some kind of tax write off that you mostly lose money from. You can actually make money from your vehicle once it isn’t working anymore.

If you’ve got a rare or foreign car, well maintained or hard to find parts could be in high demand from people who have the same car. Buying your used parts or even your whole vehicle could be a good deal for the right owner.

Better yet, get in touch with a junkyard who you can trust and see what kind of deal they can offer you for your vehicle. They might also see how valuable your non-functioning vehicle is for everyone one of its parts.

They’ll handle the hard work of removing the fluids, cleaning everything up and taking it apart. They know which parts they can recycle and which parts are worth some cash. Call up a junkyard, describe what you have and see what they’ll offer you.

If the offer seems good, call a few different junkyards to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

9. Get Higher Resale Value Out of It

As mentioned before, listing a car for sale, especially one that’s not running, can be more trouble than its worth. People might assume your car is totally worthless.

However, just because one part of the engine is no longer running doesn’t mean that you don’t have some valuable parts still left.

Auto recycling could allow you to get an even higher return than you might have gotten selling it to a dealer the day before when it was running. High demand parts could be exactly what a junkyard needs.

If they’re the go-to scrap yard for a certain make and model, bringing them something interesting and rare could be worthwhile.

Recycling with a junkyard is also a very fast process. You could be done with your old, dysfunctional car in just over a day with more money than you might expect. Call up a junkyard and see what they’ll offer you for it.

10. Different Yard Give Different Offers

Scrap yards are one of the best ways to recycle an old vehicle. If you know your car is on its last legs, you could take one last trip to a scrap yard to get rid of it. They will take the time to take it apart piece by piece.

Where you might see a two-ton ball and chain around your neck, a scrap yard might see a payday. If you try to sell the parts yourself, you might end up damaging parts while dismantling them. You’re better off leaving it to the experts and outsouring the work to professionals.

You probably don’t know the value of everything your car has under the hood. Take a minute to look up a few parts in advance to get an idea. You won’t be able to get the kind of price you’d get for a brand new part, but you should be able to get an amount of money representative of that.

Auto Recycling Is Great For The Economy and Earth

There’s no other way to say it: recycling your car makes sense for your wallet and your planet. You’ll be able to get rid of an unwieldy and perhaps unuseful resource and you might even make some money. You can feel good about yourself for not harming the earth with your decision.

If you’re ready to get rid of your old auto, contact us and we’ll help you out.

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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