The car recycling process at a glance: where old cars go

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This is a basic outline of the car recycling process, which can be described as the steps taken by auto recyclers take when recycling a vehicle.

First of all, a car recycling facility inspects the junk car to check if the car is worth more repaired than recycled. If repairing the car looks unprofitable, then the car recycling process starts with dismantling the vehicle. This involves removal of all reusable parts of the vehicle, such as tires and car batteries. These parts are removed manually from the car. Once this is completed, the car is drained of any fuel and any other liquids. Note that some parts of the vehicle can simply be reused as spare parts if they are in working condition and there is demand for these pre-used parts in the open market.

In most cases, any unwanted gear boxes, engines and other steel car parts are dismantled to prepare them for separate shredding. The metal is then sent to steel mills to be used as scrap recycling process

Once all the recyclable parts of the vehicle have been removed, all that is left is usually the car body. This is then crushed and shredded to reduce it to a golf ball-sized chunk of metal. Once this is complete, magnets are used to fish out the iron, steel and other ferrous metals from the shredded material. There are other established techniques to sort out the non-ferrous materials.

The remaining shredding residue is still useful, and it can be used to produce new materials for many industrial applications. In the past, residue made up of textile fabrics, plastics and glass ended up on landfills. However, recycle technology has evolved to the point that it is possible to sort shredded materials to ensure a zero landfill process.

When the shredded materials are separated, three products are generated, which are hard plastics, shredder fibres and shredder sand. There are many uses for these leftover materials. For example, hard plastics can be used as reducing agents in iron production plants, and shredder fibres are sometimes used in sewage treatment plants to help sewage solidify.

One comment

  1. Many countries in Africa do not have organized car recycling systems. They are just dissembled for scrap metal. These kind of a system could actually create opportunities.

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