Automobile Recycling Center: How It Differs From A Salvage Yard And Why This Should Matter To You

Posted on: 15 June 2016

When you hear the phrase, "automobile recycling center," you may almost immediately think "salvage yard." However, these two kinds of automobile deconstruction businesses are actually much more different from each other than you might realize. Here is a closer look at what makes an automobile recycling center different from a salvage yard, and why it should matter to you.

The Auto Recycling Center Breaks Cars All the Way Down

Unlike a salvage yard, an auto recycling center breaks cars all the way down. It strips cars down and sorts out every part and component, placing tires and rubber in one pile, plastic parts in another, metal and wiring in another, etc. Once every last piece of recyclable materials have been stripped from the vehicle and it is just a metal frame and shell, then the sorted materials may be sent to recycling plants or recycled in onsite facilities. Everything is melted down, filtered and/or reshaped into blocks or cylinders of raw material. These raw materials are then sold to various industries that can use/ reuse these materials.

Salvage Yards Are Stockpiles of Crunched Cars

If you have never visited a salvage yard before, but you have visited an auto recycling center, you might immediately notice the sharp contrast in activity first. Virtually very little is happening inside a salvage yard. Most of the crunched cars and trucks here are left to sit, rust, fall apart and even leak unpleasant fluids into the ground. Unless you go to a salvage yard looking for a car part or looking for a reasonable project car, the vehicles here sit idly waiting for elements to break them down.

Why These Sharp Contrasts Should Matter to You

While you can certainly make a little money sending your car to a salvage yard, you may also be contributing to ecological problems. Some of these problems include saturation and runoff of toxic chemicals and fluids that damage the ground and the local water supply. Additionally, the vehicles that spend years sitting on a salvage yard lot could have been recycled and reused entirely to build new vehicles, thereby preventing the over-mining of metals and raw materials. 

If you choose instead to recycle your vehicle fully through an auto recycling center, then you are contributing to several earth-friendly and earth-saving practices. If money is the issue, you may be close to a recycling plant that will pay you for your vehicle. Otherwise, you can always write your donated vehicle off on your taxes (since giving your vehicle to the recycling plant essentially constitutes a donation).