Car recycling - Which parts are worth recycling?

old, rusty car at the roadside

Car recycling - what happens to cars that are no longer roadworthy?

 

Cars that are no longer roadworthy are recycled. Recycling is the process of reprocessing and reusing items. This is important for our environment in order to save resources and to pollute the environment as little as possible. That is why individual parts and entire cars are also recycled. If your vehicle is no longer registered for road traffic because it can no longer pass the TÜV and the repair would exceed the value of the car, you can take it to a scrap yard. There it will be disposed of properly. You can also contact the manufacturer of the vehicle. Under the European End-of-Life Vehicle Directive, the manufacturer is obliged to take back the vehicle free of charge.

464,657 vehicles, which also include light commercial vehicles, were disposed of in 2019. A car consists of approximately 10,000 parts, some of which can still be removed and reused or must be disposed of elsewhere.

 

Which cars can be converted?

First of all, all the fluids that are needed in the car are collected. For example, the engine oil, brake fluid, wiper fluid, etc. As the cars are shredded, the liquids have to be removed, as they would leak out during the pressing process and end up in the environment.

 

Recycling of individual parts

Some parts, if they are in good condition, have a residual value, such as the car battery, among others. These are then resold by scrap dealers. The most frequently removed part on a vehicle is the catalytic converter. It contains rare metals. But airbags are also removed or blown up because of the explosives they contain.

The rims of a car are generally not scrapped. They are kept and resold just like the other parts that are in good condition.

 

What goes into the scrap press and is shredded?

Everything that is no longer needed goes into the scrap press. The cars are pressed to facilitate further transport, and recycling is also simplified in this way. The flattened car wrecks are then loaded into containers and taken to a recycling station. There, the wrecks are shredded. All the parts are separated from each other step by step.

At the end of the process, the car consists of 10 different materials: steel, aluminium, plastic and rubber, fluff - from seat covers etc., metal and plastic, small cables from the car's electronics, heavy metals, large plastic parts, electrical components, glass splinters and sand. These materials are sorted and processed. In this way, the entire vehicle is recycled and prepared for new vehicles or other things.

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