There are lots of ways used cars can be recycled. Today we are going to talk about related questions that are common ones. So let’s start with crushing: it is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to recycle a car. First, you have to get your car, then drive it on an industrial car crusher or make it fall from a bridge or something. The crusher will then chop your car into many tiny pieces and recycle these with other materials (metal, glass, rubber – anything they can find on the car).
A more efficient way to reuse cars is simply using them as a source of spare parts. Some people have an interesting hobby of taking apart used up cars and using the parts for their own machines. This is an efficient way to recycle of course, but it is also very expensive if you only want to use one or two small parts.
What Parts Get Used and How?
The most commonly recycled parts are tires, rims, metal, and plastic. The manual transmission is also important for those who want to repair their own cars, and so is the clutch, which has a pretty long life expectancy if it’s well taken care of.
Significant amounts of steel are recovered from old vehicles, but only after they have been crushed. Steel accounts for about 40% of the weight of a typical car body. Aluminum and copper alloy wheels reduce the weight of cars, which contributes to greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions at the same time as reduced maintenance costs.
The tires are also recovered after being shredded, but not in their entirety: instead, they are ground up into rubber crumbs which can be sold to rubber processing companies.
Finally, a significant amount of foam is recovered from car seats and fitted into the seats of new cars as interior insulation. A car’s tires have a life expectancy of about 6 years for those who have them changed regularly, while their rims are reused in households or by luxury car manufacturers.
The windshields are often made into glass for new cars, while the plastics from steering wheels or dashboard pedals can be used to make more plastic products.
There is also a way to recycle old cars by repainting them and selling them as second-hand cars: they tend to be cheaper and even have better performances than your average brand new car.
How Is It Should be done?
A crushing operation must be carefully designed, as there can be a substantial volume of valuable metals such as aluminum in a car’s bodywork which needs to be removed before pushing all the metal into a container with scrap cars.
Reuse of parts from cars that are not crushed includes parts taken for repairing other cars. Some of the many possible repairs use include:
Cars can be also repainted and sold as second-hand cars with minor dents, scratches, and non-functioning parts such as air conditioning or a radio. This process is called “touchup” or “bodywork”. In this case, no material for recycling is lost, and the job can usually be done by small companies with a minimum of equipment.
This process is also used for recreating cars that are destroyed in an accident or parts of them and then sold as new ones (on some markets, at least). The most famous example was Patrick McNamara’s crash test for his BMW M5.
Another interesting example is the very successful Mclaren MP4-12C (2012), which was designed with a carbon fiber chassis and bodywork, using recycled materials. The production of these parts is costly but helps preserve resources. A possible downside to this car would be it lacks an engine, so it’s not as loud as a normal car, which some people would probably consider a plus.
How Is Recycling Going to Help Us in the Future?
Car recycling will continue to help us make new cars with better performance and lower maintenance costs. Materials are getting more expensive while our supply of them is decreasing so manufacturers need to find new ways to create their products from limited resources. Recycling is an effective way to save energy and natural resources while also saving money for consumers.
What Are the Disadvantages?
The process of making new parts out of recycled ones can be very expensive, even more so if they are made from scratch with raw materials. Another problem is that some car parts such as the interior of a car cannot be made from recycled materials because the material used to make them is not compatible with other vehicles.
Other disadvantages are that it takes more energy than making new cars, and this process releases greenhouse gases into the air we breathe.
What Are Some Common Materials Recycled From Cars?
There are many materials found in cars, and they are recycled to be used for new products. Common ones include:
The glass from a car’s windshield is usually crushed up or melted down to be reused as glass. Glass can also be recycled into sandpaper or other products made with glass. The same goes for the windows of a car which can also be recycled into glass or sandpaper.
The rubber from the tires of a car is usually recycled, but there are also new uses for this material. The most important one is that it can be used in other vehicles to make them safer and more fuel-efficient. Tires can also be made into sports equipment such as boxing gloves and footballs, and there has also been a track made out of recycled tires.
Another material used in many cars is plastic, which is usually melted down and reused or turned into other products. Some plastics from a car are harder to recycle but can still be used in other ways.
What Are Some Other Ways to Recycle Cars?
Besides the main methods for recycling old cars, there are many others which work especially well if you want to recycle your car in an environmentally friendly way. Some of them include:
While this method is not very popular, it would reduce the amount of waste in landfills and allow some people to earn money from their used car for a different car or pay off debt. The idea is that you donate your old car to someone who will dismantle it and sell the parts instead of just throwing it away.
With the help of this article, every person should know what happens to a car after it is recycled so that they are not surprised when they take their old car for recycling.