While over 70 percent of an old car can be recycled, the other 30 percent, called ‘flock’, is sent to landfill.
Flock consists of non-metallic components like plastics, fabric, foam, glass, etc. While research is ongoing to reduce the amount of flock in landfill, auto recycling does at least remove the hazardous components of a car that damage the environment (tyres, waste oil, battery) before it is crushed and shredded.
While not directly damaging to the environment, the significant amount of tyres that are dumped in landfills each year causes stockpiling, which is a fire hazard. Tyres can also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes which spread disease. Tyres are a valuable resource and can be recycled in many ways rather than sitting in landfills. They can be repurposed as road surfaces and made into products like safety matting, floor mats, children’s swings and furniture to name just a few. Tyres are even being recycled into bags, wallets, shoes and accessories.
A good reason for removing waste oil from a car is that it is highly polluting. Dirty motor oil contains various contaminants such as arsenic, lead, chromium and dioxins, which are hazardous to fish, animals, plants and humans if it gets into groundwater and waterways. Just one litre of motor oil, if disposed of irresponsibly, can pollute one million litres of drinking water. Waste oil doesn’t need to be dumped – it’s a reusable substance that can be cleaned up, re-refined and recycled various other oil products such as hydraulic oil.
Each car battery contains two to three litres of sulfuric acid as well as lead compounds, so car batteries need to be disposed of correctly to minimise environmental pollution by these poisonous substances. The good news is nearly all of a car battery can be reused – the lead terminals, the sulfuric acid, the internal lead plates and the plastic container. This makes it the most recycled product in the world, producing items such as plant pots, fertilisers and new batteries. Recycling lead also reduces reliance on mining for producing new ore. In the future, recycled batteries may even become energy packs for solar panels and wind turbines.
You may be surprised to know that many car parts can also be recycled as scrap metal, which in turn saves on resources and keeps them out of landfills. Items such as engines, gear boxes, side panels, door handles, alloy wheels – in fact any metal part your car has. Auto recyclers like Metalbiz will take your old car and pay you cash for it. Do your part for the environment – get a quote today!