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Auto Recycling Overview
 

The Role of the Automotive Recycling Industry

The automotive recycling industry - with $22 billion in sales annually - plays a necessary and crucial role in the efficient, ecological disposal of inoperable motor vehicles. Although sometimes known as auto salvage dealers, professional automotive recyclers deal strictly in the recycling of motor vehicles - i.e., domestic and foreign automobiles, light and heavy-duty trucks, buses and motorcycles.

Glossary of Automotive Recycling Terms

Tour a Modern Automotive Recycling Facility

From the earliest days of motorized travel, automotive recyclers have been leaders. These entrepreneurs developed a disassembly process for salvaged automobiles in order to reclaim reusable parts and components, and, thus, established an efficient automotive recycling system. For more than 75 years, automotive recyclers have been providing local employment, consumer service, and environmental conservation, worldwide.

Automotive recycling serves a vital role in preserving natural resources and reducing the demand for scarce landfill space. For example, each year approximately 95 percent of vehicles retired from use are processed for recycling.  The recycling of these vehicles saves an estimated 85 million barrels of oil that would have been used in the manufacturing of new or replacement parts.  Additional energy and resource conservation is realized by recycling rebuildable "core" parts to the automotive parts rebuilding industry.

In addition to conserving natural resources, automotive recycling plays an important role in reducing air and water pollution, and solid waste generation. Automotive recyclers must abide by stringent local and national regulations on dealing with waste generated by salvaged automobiles. Many individual automotive recyclers have also instituted their own unique programs to further reduce the potential effects of harmful materials to their businesses and communities.

Automotive recycling has evolved into a sophisticated market and technology-driven industry that constantly changes to keep abreast of innovations in automotive technology and manufacturing techniques. Rather than merely crushing wrecked, abandoned, and mechanically disabled motor vehicles, today's modern recycling facilities have a definitive operational scheme that maximizes the vehicle's true market value, all the while providing an economic and environmental benefit to the community.

In a typical modern recycling business, inoperative motor vehicles are brought into a facility where the hazardous and recyclable fluids are properly drained. Undamaged parts are then dismantled from the vehicle, cleaned, tested, inventoried, and stored in a warehouse until sold. The remaining vehicle hulk is then prepared for scrapping.

Automotive recyclers are a valuable source for economical and often hard to find used motor vehicle replacement parts. Professional auto recyclers use computer and satellite communication systems that enable for direct inventory assessment as well as locate parts across town or across the continent, by simply entering the appropriate data into their computer system. This technology allows recyclers to maximize their inventories and provide quick and efficient service to their customers.


 
 
 

 
 
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