Cars are some of the most expensive things we own. Even when a car is no longer shiny and new, they are made up of valuable materials. These materials can be recycled and sold when a car dies.
Metals, glass, and rubber can all be used to make new products. New cars even contain recycled materials from old ones. Each new car contains around 25% of materials salvaged from recycled car parts.
Recycling cars has become one of the biggest recycling industries worldwide. Read on to learn more about the auto recycling industry and how these parts are having a positive impact on our environment.
Tires Are a Must to Recycle
Tires are one of the biggest auto parts to recycle. According to Eco Green Equipment, around 80% of all disposed of tires are recycled. This is because tires are a major source of harmful waste.
Because of the high production volume, government intervention was needed to help reuse old tires. Tires are non-biodegradable, incredibly durable and millions are being made and used every day.
Recent advances in technology have also made it possible for us to reuse tires. Old tires are typically sold or recycled to three markets. These are civil engineering applications, ground rubber applications, and tire-derived fuel.
Recycled tires can be used to make rubber turfs for playgrounds, sports or turf. They can also be used for heating and as fuel. You can often make anywhere from $25 to $75 recycling tires.
Car batteries are one of the most dangerous things to throw away. Car batteries are made up of acid, lead and plastics that can all be very harmful to the environment if they aren’t disposed of properly.
Because of this, almost all of the used car batteries today are recycled. Car batteries are one of the most recycled items in the United States. Used batteries will typically be turned into new batteries and the lead and plastic from used batteries can go into making other items.
When you’re trying to recycle batteries it’s important to handle them with care. Try to use gloves so you aren’t accidentally touching lead from the batteries. Never keep them by open flames or outdoors where temperatures can rise.
You may be able to earn anywhere from $5 to $10 per battery when you re-sell them. Note that the more you sell, the more you’ll typically earn for each battery.
Glass Repurposing and Recycling
Did you know that glass takes around one million years to decompose? This makes glass recycling one of the most important industries.
The glass used on bottles, for example, is much different than the glass on car windows because it’s covered with another layer that helps to prevent it from shattering during a car accident.
Selling and salvaging automotive glass that is intact and in great condition can be very profitable. You can learn more about salvaging here.
If you have glass from a car with hard to find parts or a classic car, you may make even more money. You can expect to earn between $25 and $100 per piece of glass.
Selling Catalytic Converters
Catalytic converters are another high paying recyclable because of the precious metals they contain. Catalytic converters are made up of metals such as palladium and platinum that are also used in jewelry and electronics.
Platinum trades at around $1,000 per ounce. Your catalytic converter will have about 1/10th of an ounce. Professional recyclers and manufacturers have specific tools they can use to remove the fine metals from a catalytic converter.
The value also makes catalytic converters suspectable to theft. Especially in certain makes and models. Luckily, more anti-theft measures have been taken recently to prevent this.
If you’re selling an original catalytic converter from the auto manufacturer, these will be worth more than one that has been replaced. You can expect to earn anywhere from $45 to $100 depending on the type of converter you have.
Recycling and Selling Oil and Oil Filters
Oil is one of the most well-known pollutants out there. The oil that isn’t properly disposed of from just one oil change can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Oil is toxic and it sticks to plants, ocean life and animals very easily. It is also very hard to clean and remove. Luckily, motor oil can become usable again by reprocessing it. Used oil is expensive to refine so you can resell it but you’ll likely only see $0.50 a gallon on the return.
You should also always recycle your oil filters. If you get them professionally changed out, ask your technician if they recycle the filters. Most larger oil changing companies do.
Salvaging Scrap Metal
Scrap metal including steel and aluminum are some of the most recycled materials in the auto industry. Steel, iron, and aluminum are valuable and recyclable materials.
Aluminum may not be the most valuable metal but recycling it actually saves around 80% of the energy used to make it. As for the other metals from your car, the more you have the more you’ll make.
Steel and iron will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Local scrap yards will weigh your metal and usually pay you on the spot. Depending on whether you’re selling aluminum, steel or iron, you’ll see a return of around $0.25-$0.50 per pound.
Making Money Recycling Cars and Helping the Planet
Recycling cars is not only great for your wallet it’s also great for the environment. Metals, tires, and glass from vehicles can all be repurposed and used again. You may be surprised how much-used car parts can go for and how much they get used in making new vehicles.
Dangerous oil and lead can also be re-used again instead of filling our earth and precious waterways, for example. Your bank account and Mother Nature will thank you for recycling. Auto recycling can be a positive way to help the environment and make some cash on the side.
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