Auto recycling reduces manufacturing costs, and reduces CO2 emissions
As cars get more complex and expensive to fix, insurers have become more willing towrite the
rather than repair them, says Jeff Liaw, the President of Copart Inc., a Dallas-based salvage company with 200 locations across the U.S. and abroad.
That’s boosting the number of cars heading to the junkyard, which in many cases no longer means a facility with acres of land to hold rusting metal husks.
Instead, at more than 10,000 junkyards from Counselman Automotive Recycling in Mobile, Ala., to any number of Pick-n-Pull auto dismantlers across the country cars are stripped, and the leftover metal mostly steel and aluminum is shredded, then melted down to make recycled steel that’s increasingly used in new autos.
Reusing steel can lower carmakers’ costs by 20% to 60%, says Jonathan Morrow, former president of the Automotive Recyclers Association.
And it helps the environment, according to a Worcester Polytechnic Institute study that found recycling 165,500 vehicles in Massachusetts cut 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The business “is heading toward a zero-waste situation,” says Brajendra Mishra, director of the school’s Metal Processing Institute. “This is, in a sense, what a circular economy represents.”