Working for a better environment is something we inhabitants of Planet Earth must strive to do every day, not just every April 22nd, when Earth Day is celebrated.  In striving for a cleaner and greener earth, we, as a nation must first lessen our carbon footprint.

One of the items that cause environmentalists great consternation is the emissions from vehicles.  This, of course, was why the recent discovery of Volkswagen’s fudging of gas emission tests became such a newsworthy and disturbing story.  News of the scandal revealed that not only were all these vehicles emitting high levels of toxic fumes, but the resale values of the vehicles instantly plummeted until a fix could be implemented.

We trust car manufacturers to create vehicles that are designed to be safer for the environment, and, gradually, as more older vehicles are off the road and sold for recycling and/or scrap purposes, the long-term goal of a healthier environment will be achieved.

If you are thinking that spare or old vehicle has seen better days, and its various idiosyncrasies don’t permit you to use it as charitable donation, your next best solution is to sell the car for scrap metal.  Here are some facts about what will happen to your vehicle, should you desire to go that route, and, if you’re on board with that idea, do see a company that specializes in junk car removal.

The car recycling process

If you ever have driven past a junkyard where once-beautiful automobiles have been reduced to tin pancakes, you probably thought a huge crusher just took them from viable vehicles to flattened metal in a matter of minutes.

Well, that didn’t happen at all.  There are several steps that must be undertaken first, all designed to eliminate any hazardous substances from the vehicle before the crushing process may begin.

As we enjoy tooling around town in our vehicles, admittedly not much thought is given to what toxic substances may lurk beneath that shiny exterior and those smooth leather seats.  So, when you take your car to a vehicle recycling company, they have professionals that specialize in extricating hazardous materials and readying the vehicle for scrap.

The first step

  • Draining environmentally hazardous fluids from the vehicle; and
  • Removing any potentially reusable parts (including batteries, tires and lead parts) and setting them aside to be cleaned up and/or restored to be sold as used parts.

The crushing phase

  • It is placed into a car crusher; and
  • After being crushed, the vehicle is then fed into a shredder, wherein ferrous and non-ferrous metal parts will be separated, and, any residue like plastic, foam and glass materials are disposed of.

At this stage, the scrap metal has undergone a full recycling procedure and is now ready to be melted down to form new metal or components.

It is staggering to think that the average 4,000-pound vehicle eventually shrinks down to scrap metal, but it does happen, and is, in fact, a thriving business.   Did you know that at least 75%, and sometimes up to 98%, of a junk car will actually be recycled, so the vast majority of that old vehicle is put to good use and not languishing around in a landfill and contaminating our environment?

Another statistic is that approximately 95% of the 12-15 million vehicles retired from U.S. roads annually will end up being recycled, making vehicles the #1 recycled item and auto recycling one of the largest industries in our country. The auto industry also recycles significantly more than any other industry.

Be proactive

If you’ve hemmed and hawed over keeping your vehicle just a little longer or biting the bullet and either buying or leasing a new vehicle, the time to act is now.

If the vehicle is just old, but in relatively good working condition, consider donating it to a charitable organization which will make whatever fixes are necessary to get the car 100% safe and provide reliable transportation for someone, less fortunate than yourself, who needs, but cannot afford, a vehicle.  People want to work but are restricted from finding good jobs as they must rely on public transportation; sadly, busses are often late or fail to show up, and many people are forced to travel by bus for several hours each way so that they are never deemed a no-show or constantly late at the workplace.  Find it in your heart to make someone’s life easier.  Go to this website and see how Car Donation Wizard can help you achieve the maximum amount of money for your donated car, which may then be taken as a tax donation.  Follow this link to see the various charities that will benefit from your car donation:

On the other hand

Be honest with yourself.  If your car is on its last leg and not safe enough for you or anyone else to drive, and basically beyond any rehab efforts, your best bet is to make money on the vehicle by recycling it for scrap metal.