Whether you need to get rid of an old part you replaced yourself, you own an auto shop, or you simply want to know what happens after you take an entire car to your local scrap yard, here’s a bit of information about what auto parts can be recycled and what can’t.
Old Oil (and Filters, Too!)
The oil change might just be the most common task that amateur home mechanics do themselves rather than taking to the shop. While many people just dump the old oil out, that’s not the most environmentally responsible thing to do.
You won’t get paid for old oil and filters at most scrap yards, but taking them to your local auto parts store can be a great way to ensure they’re reused, or at least disposed of properly. Keep in mind that Texas has banned the practice of accepting used oil filters into landfills. If you take these filters to an auto parts store, oil that’s been through your car can actually be purified and used again in many cases! Some auto stores even run discounts or loyalty programs for recycling oil.
Glass and Rubber
If you have the right tools and expertise, removing glass and rubber from your car before recycling can be the best way to get the most out of a scrap vehicle, just like cleaning other scrap and stripping wires can boost your profits.
Even if you don’t remove rubber and glass, they’ll be recycled properly at your local yard when the vehicle is disassembled and stripped down. We all know glass recycles, and the rubber components used in cars can be put to a lot of use in their second life: there may even be old rubber parts from cars recycled into rubberized asphalt in some cases!
Retired vehicles house a lot of steel, aluminum, and other valuable metals, both in the chassis, the exterior body, and of course in the inner workings of the car.
Depending on the type of training or tools you have, it may be worth it to try to extract these components to properly sort and clean them before you scrap an old car, or it may not. Carburetors are one of those items that are especially worth separating out, as they bring more money by themselves. You can learn a little more about recycling carburetors here. Radiators and wheels are two more items that are particularly worth your time to separate out. And don’t forget the lead in your car battery that is also recyclable!
Regardless of how you choose to recycle your car parts, they can go on to work wonders for the environment and put a little extra cash in your pocket.