Auto recycling is more popular than you might think.
Every year, 10 million cars are recycled, making them the most recycled product in America. Recycling a vehicle is more involved than recycling paper goods, so choose an auto recycler carefully.
Even though you may think recycling helps the environment, if it’s done incorrectly, it could end up harming local ecosystems and water supplies. Responsible auto recycling is vital to the health of the earth.
The Value of the Auto Recycling Industry
As an industry, auto recycling is integral in preserving energy by limiting fossil fuel use and preserving natural resources. It’s possible to recycle up to 75 percent of a vehicle by reusing parts for cars still on the road or melting down materials for cars yet to be manufactured.
Every year, 12 million tons of recycled steel are harvested from vehicles no longer in service. It is estimated that auto recycling conserves 85 million barrels of oil every year that would otherwise be used for manufacturing purposes.
It’s clear that this industry serves an important purpose: It keeps water, soil and air pollution down and conserves natural resources.
Potential Hazardous Wastes
Cars contain many substances that should not be released into the environment, but contained safely and disposed of responsibly.
For example, gasoline and motor oil are toxic to marine life and can spread to nearby bodies of water through stormwater runoff. Also, the acids found in car batteries can leach into the soil and affect its chemical balance. Contamination can lead to a decline in plant and human health.
Auto recycling facilities must take care to limit any negative affects to the local ecosystem. Otherwise, what’s the point of recycling if it causes damage?
Responsible Practices to Protect the Environment
As a consumer, you can choose to bring your car to a facility that recognizes the importance of environmental protection.
When the car is first handed over, the team should immediately check for any drips or leaks. They should drain all fluids from the engine, brake lines, coolant system and fuel tank into a drip pan inside a spill containment area.
The auto crushing equipment should be positioned on a non-absorbent surface and protected from rainfall in order to prevent environmental contamination. It also should have a fluid reservoir to collect any drainage. Once the car has been crushed, the fluids should be disposed of as hazardous waste.
All chemicals and waste should be clearly labeled. Safety equipment should be on hand in case of a fire. The facility should have a spill response plan in place, with cleanup materials ready for use. They also should regularly maintain all of their machines to lower the risk of a spill.
You can trust Western Auto Wrecking when looking for an auto recycling company that takes its job seriously — call today for more information.