Champion Auto Recyclers

Where Does The Metal In Your Car Go When You Recycle It?

Valuable metals are embedded in the frame, body and interior of your car. So what happens when you decide to take your old clunker to the scrap yard for recycling? Where does the copper, iron, steel and aluminum go?

Digital car inspection

It depends on where in the car the metal is located. The metal in reusable, sell-able parts remains with the parts. For example, car engines contain aluminum. They can be cleaned and sold to auto repair operators. Similarly, electronics have copper wiring; they can be cleaned and stored for sale as well. Many transmissions have aluminum casings. If the mechanic at the salvage yard removes a transmission for cleaning, rebuilding and reselling, all he metal that’s salvageable on that part stays intact. Generally speaking, all the parts of a junk car that can be removed and sold including batteries, car rims and catalytic converters, are removed for sale before the car goes to the next recycling step.

The crushing. That’s the next step. A car crushing machine flattens the frame and body which is mostly steel, iron and aluminum at this point. Then the car is shipped to a recycling center. Here, the car is shredded. The metals are separated with steel being magnetically removed. After this, the metals are ready for recycling.

At last, the metals from your End of Life (EOL) vehicle can be put to good use. The steel goes to the steel mill. Since 65% of a car is steel, chances are that recycled steel will be in your new vehicle. The aluminum can find itself in new cars as well since the incentive to make cars lighter and more durable fuels a demand for automotive aluminum. Or, the recycled metals from your EOL vehicle could just end up in household consumer goods like your backyard barbecue grill.

Where Does The Metal In Your Car Go When You Recycle It?
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