Automobile industryCar technologyInteresting factsRecycling

Everything you need to know about automobile recycling

3 Mins read

The modern policy of many countries is aiming to make their citizens more conscious when it come to the consumption, garbage footprint left my humans as well as the possibilities for recycling of various worn-out goods as well as packages. Yet, an average person even if he or she is an active car users whether as a driver or a passenger is not aware of the situation when it comes to the recycling of automobiles.

Of course, a lot depends on the country you are living in, however, according to the experts, even 80% of a passenger car is recyclable. For Europe, this number is slightly smaller. In this part of the world, 75% of an average passenger car is recycled. In this article, you will find plenty of interesting facts and figures concerning automobile recycling.

Cars are number one recyclable consumer product

Let’s start with the most exciting fact. You might have some understanding about the overall image when it comes to the opportunities for recycling of various consumer products, however, do you really know that automobiles are the most recycled goods people are using right now? This might seem strange, but fortunately, it is the truth and such large products as cars are still very handy even when they are no longer used for travelling.

When you take the world statistics, more than 25 million tons of various materials used in cars are recycled on an annual basis. When it comes the US, the industry of car recycling is currently at the sixteenth position. Every year, its contribution to the GDP of the United States is 25 billion dollars. As you can imagine, such a scale also means the industry also employs many people. So far, only in this country nearly 100 000 people are working.

The world statistics is that roughly 27 million old cars are recycled every years.

Where are the recycled materials used?

Certainly, recycling means that the materials extracted from old cars are reused. It turns out that the amount of metal which can be used after recycling old automobiles is enormous. This metal is frequently used for producing new cars. For instance, Canada and the USA get thus much steel out of old cars, that they can produce nearly thirteen million new automobiles every year!

When it comes to new cars, they are not entirely produced of recycled steel. It is typical for them to have around 25% of recycled materials.

Undeniably, cars are not made entirely of steel. There are also other metal alloys and materials in these complex goods. For example, cars are also a resource for ferrous metal which are used in the industry of scrap processing. The statistics for the USA is the following – in this country nearly 40% of all the ferrous metals used for scrap processing comes from automobile recycling.

Needless to say, some of the parts of old cars are of a high quality so there is no need for destroying them in order to get metal or other materials. Automobile recycles also extract such parts and sell them offering a price which can be even 80% smaller than the price of new parts.

Cars also have a certain amount of aluminium which is usually around 10% of the entire weight of a car. Almost 90% of this material coming from old automobiles is recycled. Certainly, this is not a lot, however, aluminium is a more valuable material than other metals used in automobiles, thus, as a rule, its value is up to 50% of the value of the entire recovered material coming from an old car.

Furthermore, up to 99% of car batteries are recycled.

What happens to the rest of the car?

Some materials used in cars remain unrecycled and their amount is usually nearly 20% of the entire car. These remains have their own term ASR which can be translated as auto shredder residue. This residue still has some remains of nonferrous and ferrous metals which cannot be extracted, plastic, glass, wood, rubber, fabric and paper.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to recycle an entire car.

How long have been people recycling cars?

You might be wondering for how long people have been recycling cars. Well, the situation with automobile recycling is a bit different if you compare it for instance to the plastic recycling industry. Metals have always been considered a valuable material, that is why the recycling technologies for cars have already been used for over 75 years.

As you have noticed, automobile recycling industry is really massive. It is true for the majority of countries, albeit in this article we have showed you the statistics referring to North America in the first place. Even though the revenue of the automobile recycling industry is gigantic, in practice, the companies focusing on recycling of old cars are very small. Usually, there are no more than ten people working in such companies. According to the statistics, 75% of the companies working in this branch are thus small.

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