19th Dec, 2016
There have been massive advances made in the field of metal recycling in the last few decades, and we’re still getting better all the time. Take steel cans, for example. Today, each can is 100% recyclable, and over 2.5 billion cans are recycled in the UK each year. That amounts to saving something in the region of 125,000 tonnes of solid waste each year. As you’d expect, car scrap breakers and larger scrapyards account for a huge section of this industry. So how do they work, exactly?
When we pick up your scrap car, it goes to one of our trusted local car breakers, all of whom are industry-certified for their professional standards of safety and competency. Upon arrival, the workshop engineers will drain it of any fluids, including oil and coolant. Not only are these a human health hazard, but also often valuable materials for resale, given their usefulness to other road users. The car is then stripped down to its shell. During this process, everything inside – from the engine and battery right down to the electronics and car stereo – is assessed to check its working order. Anything functioning or otherwise deemed to be valuable is saved for resale, while dead or irreparable parts are set to the other side for recycling. Once the car is stripped down to its shell, it is then compacted for ease of transport during recycling, often by use of a car crusher.
Anything with financial value is again weighed and assessed for its value by an industry professional. It then goes straight back onto the used-motor market as second hand goods. Functioning electronics usually fetch a good price, and things like tyres and intact pieces of bodywork are similarly valuable, given how liable they are to everyday wear and tear. In the event of car accidents especially, they’re often the first to feel the literal brunt of the impact, meaning that drivers are constantly on the lookout for new ones that are both cheap and intact.
After selling on these items, what’s left are less valuable but still useful metals, which the scrap car dealer usually sells onto larger metal recycling plants. These metals can be put into one of two categories: ferrous and non-ferrous. Non-ferrous metals include materials like aluminium, copper, stainless steel and brass, whereas ferrous metals like iron and steel are generally more common, and therefore slightly less valuable. (Car shells, for example, are often made from aluminium and steel.)
Once these materials are transported – either by the car dealer itself or a contractor – to the metal recycling plant, they go over much the same process again. Incoming materials are weighed, priced according to the trade market, and the seller (in this case the car breaker) is paid. The metal is then melted down at the scrapyard to become something new, or instead forwarded on to other facilities to be repurposed.
As technology advances and recycling techniques become more refined, we’re able to recycle greater numbers of materials, using increasingly efficient techniques. That means that when you leave your car with us at Scrap Car Network, you can do so safe in the knowledge that almost all of it will be used to build something new!
At Scrap Car Network, we’re fiercely passionate about the green causes. That’s why we do everything possible to maintain the quality of our environmental health during the scrapping process. That’s not all, though! We also give to social welfare charity Recycling Lives; another fantastic cause with an even more human-centric focus. You can read about all the reasons to choose us here, or if you’re already sold, simply enter your details on our website to get an immediate scrap car quote, and get started right away!