Auto Recycling

Auto Recycling: Facts & Figures

Sustainability is an integral part of our society. Today, individuals are taught to reduce, reuse and recycle at a young age to help preserve our dear planet. But remember, sustainability extends beyond reusing water bottles or upcycling glass. In fact, the largest contributor to our sustainable global economy is auto recycling.

According to statistics, nearly 95 percent of end-of-life cars get recycled each year. And about 80 percent of a vehicle is recyclable. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans come with every kind of reusable material besides metal, including plastics, rubber, glass, and even upholstery.

Read on to learn other auto salvage facts and figures that might surprise you.

Top Auto Recycling Facts and Figures

  • Vehicles are the most common recycled consumer commodities globally.
  • Each year, over 27 million automobiles get recycled around the globe. Nearly 12 million of the vehicles come from the US, 8 million in Europe, and the rest from Canada and other countries.
  • Recycled old or junked vehicles produce over 25 million tons of material yearly.
  • The number of oils and hazardous fluids reclaimed safely from recycled automobiles is equal to 8 Exxon Valdez disasters.
  • About 26 vehicles get recycled in the US every minute.
  • The auto salvage industry is the 16th biggest in America and contributes nearly $25 billion annually to the national GDP.
  • The recycling sector creates thousands of jobs opportunities, helping the economy. As a fact, the industry employs over 140,000 workers in the United States and more than 200,000 in Britain.
  • Retail and wholesale customers buy quality auto parts that cost 20% to 80% less from Automotive recyclers.
  • The auto salvage sectors in the US and Canada provide enough steel to produce about 13 million new cars annually.
  • The North American automotive recyclers provide the scrap processing industry with nearly 40% of ferrous metal. They also reclaim about 85 million barrels of oil from old vehicles.
  • Today’s auto recycling industry has been in operation for about 75 years.
  • In each salvaged vehicle, about 5 to 10 gallons of liquids, including coolants, oil, and windshield washer fluid, can get salvaged.
  • Recycled steel reduces air and water pollution by 86% and 76%, respectively.
  • Approximately 90% of aluminum recovered from vehicles is recyclable. While the salvaged aluminum is less than 10% of the car by weight, it accounts for about 50% of the car’s scrap value.
  • There are about 7,000 vehicle-recycling companies in the US. Most recyclers are small businesses, with a majority employing ten or fewer workers.
  • In Europe, 95% of old vehicles get recycled by weight.
  • Every year, over 14 million tons of steel are recovered from old vehicles. By weight, each car comprises 60% steel and iron.
  • Steel collected through auto recycling every year saves an equivalent energy power of approximately 18 million homes.
  • Each year, automotive recycling helps reduce GHG emissions by approximately 30 million metric tons. Also, the recycling of car tires reduces CO2 by about 323 pounds, which equals 18 gallons of gasoline.
  • Nearly 98-99% of car batteries can get recycled.

Final Thoughts

These facts and figures are evidence enough that the auto salvage industry is vibrant and full of opportunities for entrepreneurs. They also prove that we’re moving towards a more sustainable global economy.