Why It's Important to Recycle Cars

Why It’s Important to Recycle Cars

Why It's Important to Recycle Cars | Metal Biz Recyclers

Tyres

  • Recycling tyres significantly reduces air pollution and contaminated run-off.
  • In Australia, 17 million tyres are estimated to be dumped each year and a large proportion of these end up in landfill or are burnt which creates significant air pollution.
  • As well as taking up space in landfills, stockpiled tyres can attract mosquitoes, become a fire hazard and are a waste of resources that can be used for other purposes.
  • It is estimated that around 52.5 million tyres reach the end of their life each year in Australia. Of this 52.5 million, only 13% are currently being recycled (SITA).

Metal

  • Scrap metal recycling saves water, energy, and precious natural resources.
  • For every one tonne of steel we recycle, we save 1,100 kg of iron ore, 630 kg of coal, 55 kg of limestone, 287 L of oil, and 642 kWh of energy (Bureau of International Recycling).
  • Australians send enough steel to landfill every year to make 40,000 fridges.
  • Making steel from recycled material uses only 25% of the energy needed to make steel from raw materials (Clean Up Australia)
  • Cars dumped in rivers can become lethal traps for swimmers and for wildlife and scrap metal dumped in the bush can spontaneously combust causing wildfires (Clean Up Australia).

Battery

  • Recycling car batteries prevents the leaking of lead and sulphuric acid into the environment.
  • Fortunately, 99 percent of battery components can be reused for manufacturing new batteries.
  • It also requires a lot less energy to recover lead from batteries than to produce it from ore.
  • Each car battery contains two to three litres of sulfuric acid as well as lead compounds.
  • 98% of a car battery can be recycled (SITA)

Hazardous materials

  • Hazardous materials like coolant, brake fluid and air conditioning gases can all be disposed of safely.
  • If released into the atmosphere, fluorocarbon refrigerant gases can damage the ozone layer and contribute to global warming (Australian Refrigeration Council).
  • Automotive engine coolant, or antifreeze, contains either ethylene or propylene glycols, both of which are toxic to animals and humans. These chemicals also taste sweet to pets and kids, who don’t know not to drink poison (Mobil)
  • Antifreeze (Air Conditioning Gases), coolant, and brake fluids contain heavy metals that can harm aquatic wildlife.
  • Dumping dead cars is a huge cause of pollution. Car bodies contain loads of chemicals from petrol, coolants, transmission fluids, and battery acid and when they haven’t been properly disposed of, toxic chemicals can leach into waterways, poison wildlife, and even combust and cause bushfires.

Glass

  • Recycling glass windows saves raw materials and cuts CO2 emissions.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled a million times over to produce bottles and jars of the same high quality (SITA).
  • Recycling one tonne of old glass saves 34 litres of oil (SITA)
  • Recycling glass creates only half the greenhouse gas of making new glass from sand. (SITA)
  • One ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process (Glass Packaging Institute).

Oil

  • Recycling one litre of oil can save up to a million litres of water from being contaminated.
  • Although Australians are becoming better at recycling oil, 25 percent of waste oil could still potentially be recycled.
  • If motor oil is disposed of inappropriately and released into the environment, it can harm humans, plants, animals, and fish.
  • Oil doesn’t wear out, it just gets dirty. Used oil can be cleaned, re-refined and used again and again (environment.gov.au)
  • It is estimated that less than half of the approximately 500 million litres of lubricating oil sold in Australia each year is recycled (RACQ).
  • Motor vehicles are a major producer of used oil with the average passenger car producing four to five litres each 5,000 to 10,000 km they travel. (RACQ)
  • Your used motor oil can be cleaned and fully reused as a fuel oil. One gallon of used oil provides one gallon of fuel oil (Mobil)