How Recyclers Handle Material That Isn’t Recyclable

Conventional auto recyclers primarily specialize in recycling stripped car frames to create metal that can be use to manufacture new car frames and other products. Conversely, some auto recyclers specialize in multi-stream recycling and recycle everything from window glass to tires and rubber fittings. However, these types of auto recyclers are not the norm. In most cases, auto recycling equipment is primarily designed to recycle metal and not non-metal recyclables.

What Happens to Non-Recyclables?

It’s important to note that just because an auto recycling company doesn’t recycle certain materials doesn’t mean that the materials in question are not recyclable (according to research, roughly 85 percent of a fully equipped vehicle is recyclable). However, because auto recyclers don’t reprocess the materials, they usually handle them in one of the following four ways.

1. Have Material Removed

Some recyclers have a policy that all materials they aren’t equipped to recycle must be removed from car frames before they are delivered. The policy has two benefits: It prevents the recycler from having to dispose of non-recyclables, and, as a corollary, it helps speed up the recycling process. For these reasons, most recyclers would like to receive stripped car frames.   

2. Sell Material to Other Recyclers

When auto recycling companies receive car frames that contain usable parts that can’t be recycled, they often sell the components to mechanics, creating a stream of revenue that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Consequently, just as some recyclers prefer to receive stripped car frames, some prefer to receive car frames that have leftover components in tact.

3. Purge Material During Meltdown

Some recyclers use furnaces that separate non-recyclable material from scrap metal by melting the former into a sludge that collects in a special unit in the furnace. This is possible because the non-recyclable materials have a lower melting point than the metal. The sludge may be placed in sealed barrels or combusted once again to incinerate it to keep it out of a landfill.

Need to Recycle a Junk Vehicle?

If so, you may get a better deal by selling it to us instead of a recycler. In addition to paying you a competitive sale price in cash, we’ll forward the vehicle to an auto recycler after our customers have removed usable parts from the car. To receive a free quote for your junker, please refer to our contact page. By offering your car to us, you can help support auto recycling!

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