Car recycling is the de-pollution and dismantling of vehicles for spare parts at the end of their useful life, along with the recovery of any metals. Vehicles have a value as spare parts as well as various metals, this has created a large vehicle dismantling and recycling industry.
Vehicle recycling has always occurred to some degree but in recent years has become more professional and environmentally friendly. Approximately 2 – 2.5 million vehicles reach the end of their use each year in the UK. These cars, although out of commission, can still have a purpose by re-using the parts contained in them and recycling the metal content.
When all the usable parts are removed the remainder of the vehicle is shredded and the metal content is recovered for recycling.
As one of the most recycled consumer products, end-of-life vehicles provide the steel industry with a vast amount of recycled steel. The process of recycling a vehicle is extremely complicated as there are many parts to be recycled and many hazardous materials to remove.
Briefly, the process begins with incoming vehicles being started to check if the engine is re-usable, after this has taken place the vehicle is depolluted by draining all the fluids, removing the battery and removing any other hazardous materials. When all the usable parts have been removed, the remaining shell of the vehicle is crushed and recycled.