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How to Recycle Old Car Parts 

How to Recycle Old Car Parts

There are currently 541 operational landfills across the USA, and almost that number again in the pipeline. While much of the material in those landfills is household waste, scrapped cars contribute at least some portion of it.

If you’re getting rid of a car, do you want even part of it to end up in a non-biodegradable landfill? Of course not!

Thankfully, old car parts can be recycled, from tires and windshields to catalytic converters and even engines! Read on to learn what you can recycle from your scrap car and how to make that happen responsibly.

Scrap Metal

We all know we can recycle car parts, but did you know you can recycle pretty much all the metal your car is made of?

Salvage yards will pay you for the sizeable metal panels from doors and the car body. You can leave the smaller pieces for curbside pickup if you have a city recycled program.

Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters contain precious metals, including palladium to platinum. This makes them valuable to recycling centers and salvage companies.

Even though the catalytic converter recycling process is somewhat complicated, you can still get decent money if you sell one.

Oil Filters (and Oil)

If you change your oil filters yourself, don’t throw them out! Take them to your nearest garage for recycling.

The oil is a different matter. Sadly, while knowing how to recycle old oil is widespread, it’s time-consuming, so few recycling companies are willing to tackle this job.


Believe it or not, there are more than a few ways to recycle tires. They’re turned into everything from asphalt and sports field surfaces to garden mulch and homewares.

Drop your old tires into a specialist tire recycling center—you might even get cash for them!


You might think that because your car is beyond repair, the engine is also dead. Often, that’s far from the case. Engines can be cleaned and revived or dismantled, and the parts reused.

Chat with your car mechanic to find out where to sell or send your old engine.


Of all the vehicle parts, dead batteries are the most essential to recycle or dispose of properly. They contain materials that can be harmful to human health and the environment—lead, plastics, sulphuric acid, hydrogen, and more.

Check with your municipality to find out the rules for responsible battery disposal.

Window and Windshield Glass

Outside of automotive parts, one more item can be recycled from your car—the glass!

Local body shops and salvage yards will take your old windshields and car windows and sell the glass to companies that turn it into everything from fiberglass to bottles. If the glass is in good condition, it may even be able to be reused in another car.

Recycle Old Car Parts: Your Bank Account and the Environment Will Thank You

Recycling your old car parts will not only (potentially) get you a bit of extra cash for your wallet; you’ll also be doing your bit to help the planet. It’s certainly preferable to leaving a car to rot in your backyard or garage or adding to a landfill.

If you’re scraping a car, just be sure to remove the license plates, cancel your car insurance, and keep all your records.

For more helpful advice on car ownership, read the other articles in our blog.

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