It’s a sad day when any vehicle goes to the scrapyard. It could be it’s your car ready to go, and you’re pondering the fate of your beloved machine as it will be stripped and crushed to mere inches thick. Watching your wheels get flattened can bring tears to just about anyone!
Great care is taken when recycling cars and scrap metal. We will walk through steps these companies take with vehicles, but we promise not to get too gruesome for those who are sentimental and loving to the beautiful machines we drive!
First Step: Collecting the Car
For some, seeing your car towed away will be the most painful part. Older cars may become hazardous at some point and need to be given away, but you may be getting some money for it. You may receive money for having salvageable parts and for the scrap metal.
Having your vehicle hauled away is first in the recycling process. From here on, its fate is now mostly out of your hands.
Second Step: Salvaging Usable Parts
Even if a car is totally destroyed in an accident, it likely has something that can be utilized.
A handful of pieces may be working and in useable condition. For someone hunting those parts, there is good value in adding life and mileage to another vehicle still driving on the road.
To be safe for the environment, the used oil, fuels, fluids, and other remaining chemicals are drained and disposed of properly.
Items such as windshields, steering wheels, seats, rims, and everything else removable are looked at with a critical eye for recycling and sale.
Third Step: Meeting the Crusher
The vehicle, now stripped of any item the scrapyard sees as recyclable, is headed for the heartless beast called the crusher. The same treatment for a rust buck from decades ago also goes for last year’s Lamborghini. This is a merciless machine that starts off the mechanical extraction of metal.
The vehicle is lifted by mechanical arms or with a crane and heavy magnet. Once loaded in the crusher, it is soon at a stage where make, model, and Bluebook prices are of no more importance.
The crusher holds the car in place as a hydraulic system generates over 2,000 psi and an excess of 150 tons of crushing force from all sides, reducing the vehicle to a cube of metal or flat like a pancake.
Fourth Step: Cut and Grind
Be it a cubic form or flattened to inches thick, the vehicle is put on a belt feeding into a shredder. Together with a powerful cutter, the metal is reduced in form and size to strips and chunks.
After this process, the metal is nearly impossible to identify from which section of the vehicle it came. Likely, only some patches of color remain enough to distinguish even which piece of metal belonged to what vehicle.
Fifth Step: Heaps of Metal
Metal, rubber, and other materials are intermixed at this point and need to be separated. Huge drums with magnets roll over the pile, collecting the metal. This ends the recycling stage for the metal, resulting in piles of valuable metal that can be used again.
The remaining non-metal material is often used as landfill material or placed in decommissioned open cast mining sites.
Recycling and Upcycling
In order to recycle a car, you need to collect the parts and dismantle them. The first step is collecting all of the necessary pieces from your car. Next comes dismantling or breaking down these parts into smaller bits that can be salvaged for other purposes like making new cars with recycled metal. This process includes cutting up larger chunks of scrap metal before they are ground into tiny pieces called slag, which is then melted together in large furnaces to create steel that will be used in many products including our next-generation automobiles!
Be it just scrap metal or an item with some salvageable parts, there’s value in every vehicle. Whether you’re recycling your own junker or seeing your old set of wheels off to the junkyard, be sure to contact the experts for all your recycling needs.