Automobiles are among the most recycled commodities in the marketplace and today the professional automotive recycling industry recycles over 4 million motor vehicles annually in the U.S. and Canada alone.
The automotive recycling industry employs over 140,000 people in the United States at more than 9,000 locations around the country. Generating $32 billion in sales nationwide, the industry helps support many other industries like shipping, waste removal, forklift and heavy equipment, and towing.
The professional automotive recycling industry is continuously implementing creative ways to reuse components, reduce waste and increase recycling rates from the process of manufacturing vehicles through their end-of-life recycling.
Approximately 86 percent of a vehicle’s material content is recycled, reused or used for energy recovery. Using recycled scrap iron and steel reduces the use of new iron ore. Every ton of new steel made from scrap steel conserves:
- 2,500 lbs. of iron ore
- 1,400 lbs. of coal
- 120 lbs. of limestone
In addition to conserving natural resources, automotive recycling plays an important role in reducing air and water pollution, and solid waste generation. Each year the industry collects and reuses or recycles an estimated:
- 8 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel
- 24 million gallons of motor oil
- 8 million gallons of engine coolant
- 5 million gallons of windshield washer fluid
- 96% of all lead acid batteries
Additional energy and resource conservation is realized by recycling rebuildable “core” parts to the automotive parts rebuilding industry.