How To Recycle A Car

Posted on 8th Jun 2021 by CarTakeBack Posted in: In The Know

The Responsible Car Recycling Process

Car recycling isn’t something that many people consider, until they need to. Having your car recycled responsibly by a reputable business is vital, if you don’t, you could be damaging the environment. But what does a responsible car recycling service actually involve?

Recycling at home has never been easier – we know rinsing out that tin and putting it in the right bin ensures it will be recycled properly. But what about that tonne of metal, glass, plastics and pollutants on four wheels outside?! We rinse, crush and separate our domestic recycling and the basic process of recycling a car is actually quite close to that, but obviously there’s a little more to it…

How to recycle a car

Cars don’t just get crushed into a cube! Every scrap car should first undergo a thorough depollution process to remove all of the toxic materials, which will then be disposed of safely or recycled where possible. Then, as much of the car as possible is recycled to reduce landfill and meet best-practise standards.

Scrap car recycling process graphic showing a car going through the stages, rinse, crush, squash, sort and separate

The car recycling process

  • Once a car has been checked over; with any contents removed and airbags detonated securely, it’s on to the depollution stage. Fluids such as fuel, oil, brake fluid, even windscreen wash, have to be safely removed from the vehicle, ensuring that no excess chemicals leak into the environment.
  • Parts that are in a good condition are salvaged for reuse, to get the maximum life out of them.
  • The car is now ready to be crushed, which is usually done to make vehicles more efficient to move onto the next stage of recycling. The cubed or crushed vehicles are safely transported to a specialist shredder plant, which will process them into smaller pieces.
  • Those smaller pieces are then separated into metal, glass, plastics and fabrics.
  • Each material is recycled by a specialist in that area and used by a wide variety of industries, including going back to car manufacturing!
  • Finally, the leftover of that separation process, that can’t yet be recycled, goes to landfill.

Recycling electric cars

As you might guess, there are some tricky additional steps needed to safely decommission a hybrid or electric vehicle compared to a standard petrol or diesel car! Not only do the high voltage batteries need to be safely disconnected and removed, but various other high voltage systems and powerful magnets need to be carefully made safe before taking the rest of the car apart. This technology may seem quite normal to most of us as drivers, but due to years of use a car usually has before it’s considered ‘end-of-life’, the recycling of electric cars is relatively new to the scrap industry.

If you are interested in having your car recycled responsibly, and getting paid, you can get an instant online quote with CarTakeBack >

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