What Happens to Scrap Cars?

Do you ever wonder what happens to a car after it loses its value? When a car is no longer valuable, most people will opt for scrapping it in exchange for a couple of cash. The car then goes through an important process of removing hazardous waste and recyclable spare parts. This is a crucial step because some parts of the car can be damaging to the environment.

vehicle depollution

Vehicle Depollution

Safety is always a top priority in the car scrapping industry. When a car reaches its end-of-life, it goes through a process called vehicle depollution. This separates the parts and components of the car that can potentially harm the environment. This takes place at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) for health and safety reasons. It is important for a vehicle to undergo this process in order to protect the environment.

The components removed during depollution include:

  • Tires
  • Lead-Acid Battery
  • Liquid Petroleum Gas Tank
  • Airbags
  • Wheels and Lead Balance Weights
  • Seat Belts and Pre-Tensioners
  • Catalytic Converter
  • Oils, Lubricants, Fuel, and other Hazardous Liquids.
  • Oil Filter
  • Switches Containing Mercury

The ATF will  store the materials in a safe place where they cannot contaminate and harm the environment.

scrap car

Recycling

Once the vehicle depollution process is complete, the car can now be sourced out for scrap metals, spare parts, and other components that can be recycled. Metal sheets, engines, transmissions, starters, axels, batteries, alternators, and other components are cleaned, reconditioned, tested, and sold to consumers who are looking for second hand replacement parts.

One of the most useful and valuable scrap materials from a car are old tires. You can recycle and re-purpose them into a variety of things. You can build an entire playground made of old tires. Upcycle them into unique pieces of furniture or garden planters. Other things you can create out of worn-out tires include welcome mats, portable speed bumps, weightlifting plates. Truly the possibilities are endless.

Batteries are also an important component of a scrap car. If carefully handled, the lead content of the battery can be recycled. You can convert the acid into water through a process of neutralization. It can also be converted into sodium sulphate, which is an element that you can use to manufacture textiles, laundry detergents, or glass.

Additionally, the hoods, bumpers, doors, and mirrors are also recycled if they are not damaged. The scrap steels, iron, and metal sheets from these components are used to manufacture construction materials, bridges, elevators, furnaces, and even household appliances.

Crushing

After pulling out all the recyclable parts and components, all that remains is the car body. The last step would be the shredding and crushing of the vehicle. Using a hydraulic press, the car will be crushed into a cube roughly the size of a microwave oven.