When a car is scrapped, what happens to it?

Have you ever wondered what happens to a car when it is scrapped?

In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap of what we’ve written about scrapping cars before: remove all valuables, get your paperwork in order, then drive your vehicle to an Authorized Treatment Facility (ATF) where it will be scrapped legally and responsibly. Okay, but then what?

There are a few steps we must do before we can simply dump it into a car crusher once you’re gone.


No matter how you spin it, cars emit a wide variety of harmful toxins into the air. They must be taken out of the car and disposed of in a way that doesn’t endanger the workers or the environment. Among these are…

It’s battery

Among the first to be revealed, this is. When possible, it is fixed and resold; otherwise, it is disassembled into its component parts (plastic, metal, glass, etc.) for recycling.


The tires will be taken off, and depending on their condition, either recycled or thrown away. Because burning tires and disposing of them in landfills are both extremely detrimental to the environment, your tires and any other rubber components in your vehicle will likely be shredded for recycling.

Liquids being drained

All of the fluids, including the coolants, gasoline, oils, and lubricants, will be drained and stored in containers. Reusing them is usually possible.

Heavy metals

Many automobile switches, for example, contain mercury, making lead and mercury two of the most frequently encountered dangerous metals in your vehicle. They’ll be taken out of the way and put in a separate location until they can be safely disposed of.

Crystal and polymer

Glass from windows can be salvaged and put to new use, most frequently in building and remodeling. Plastics, which can be recycled more efficiently, must also be collected separately.

Every Other Thing

It’s possible that you’ll be startled by how many different components of your car will need to be properly disposed of when they’re no longer usable. For instance, the chemicals in your airbags may detonate if they remained in the automobile after it was crushed.

Recyclable materials

Old automobiles may still contain usable components, and those that are in demand might command a premium price.

If you have a lot of automotive knowledge and fancy yourself a hobbyist mechanic, you might want to pack up and haul away anything that could be of use to someone with a historic automobile.

However, it is important to verify with the scrap yard that you plan to take the vehicle to, since they may not accept a vehicle that has been partially disassembled.

As part of our mission to minimize waste wherever feasible, we will remove any usable components from the items you bring to us for disposal.

The stomping has just begun.

It’s time to smash that old set of wheels once you’ve removed anything potentially hazardous or salvageable from them. You car could be squashed into a pancake or turned into a cube so that it can be moved more easily to a shredder.


If you shred it first, you’ll have a much easier time selling the scrap metal for recycling. And then what? Who knows what might become of your old automobile!

Instead of using energy to create new metals, recycle them. The best thing you can do for the environment is to scrap your car in this way, as recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum, and recycling steel saves 60% of the energy needed to create new steel.

More information about scrapping your vehicle can be found on this page; alternatively, you can contact us right away to get the process of saying goodbye to your car underway.

You can get rid of your junk car with local wreckers and get cash for unused cars.

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