GM Earns $1 Billion a Year From Recycled Auto Waste

Since the middle of the recent recession, GM has had lots of financial ground to make up. While the obvious way to improve its finances would be to sell more vehicles, the automotive giant isn’t depending on car sales alone to put it back in the financial driver’s seat. The company is also lining its sizable coffers with income earned from recycling various types of automotive waste.

Turning Waste Into Revenue

Since 2011, GM has operated an auto recycling program that focuses on recycling or reusing automotive materials that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. Examples of materials that fall under program’s umbrella include: scrap steel, paint sludge, cardboard packaging, and worn-out tires, just to name a few.

In some cases, GM repurposes the materials on its own, finding new ways to use them for autom manufacturing, but it also sells products that it can’t recycle to businesses that can. These endeavors earn the auto manufacturer roughly $1 billion annually in terms of cost savings and revenue streams that come from selling recyclables to third parties.

$1 billion dollars seems like a lot of money for a company to earn from an auto recycling program, but when you consider the amount of automotive waste that GM diverted from landfills in 2011 alone (about 2.5 million metric tons), it becomes easy to see how the company posts such a high profit from being fully committed to recycling anything and everything it can.

Additional Program Benefits

According to Two Tomorrows, a San Francisco-based sustainability consultant, GM recycles 90 percent of its auto manufacturing waste worldwide. In addition to helping the company’s bottom line, recycling and reusing so much waste benefits the environment in at least two ways: it reduces landfill use and emissions that result from the steel manufacturing process.

In the U.S., GM currently sells a large percentage of its scrap steel — most of which comes from  leftover steel cutouts — to steel fabricating company Blue Star Steel. This allows the long-time steel fabricator to bypass metal foundering operations for producing several types of steel parts, and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions that result from the metal foundering process.

Interested in Recycling Your Car?

Among major automakers, GM leads the way in the area of recycling automotive waste, but it isn’t the only company that impacts auto recycling statistics. Professionally operated junkyards also contribute to auto recycling by purchasing salvage automobiles, selling their useful parts to consumers, and then selling or donating leftover materials to recyclers.

This is how Wrench-A-Part operates. If you have an old, wrecked, or mechanically undependable vehicle that you wish to recycle, we may be interested in taking it off your hands. If so, you have two options: you can donate the car, or let us pay you for it. In either case, we’ll send one of our tow trucks to your location and tow away the automobile for free.

For more information about how Wrench-A-Part participates in auto recycling, or to find out how much your vehicle is worth, call one of our locations today, or simply fill out our contact form.


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