Car Recycling in Australia – How Does It Work?

Here in Australia, we’re big on recycling. We recycle our paper, plastic, glass… and even our cars!

When a car has reached the end of its life, there are a number of ways it can be recycled and reused, rather than just being sent to the scrap heap.

But how does this work? Let’s take a look at the car recycling process here in Australia.

Spare Part Recovery

Before any recycling takes place, the vehicle is first assessed for resellable spare parts. This is how a wrecker gains a return from buying and collecting unwanted vehicles.

Often a wrecked vehicle is only damaged in one specific area. For example, a rear-end accident could mean the back of the vehicle is totally destroyed, yet all parts in the engine bay are completely fine.

By removing all the parts that are in good working condition, the car recycler can offer these often genuine parts for sale at discounted prices as they are second-hand.

It is a win-win for car enthusiasts who are looking to perform car repairs but do not want to pay the high price of brand-new parts, or if they are trying to find rare parts from older vehicles.

Car Recycling Process

The first step in recycling a car is to remove all fluids from the vehicle. This includes oil, brake fluid, coolant, and petrol.

Once these fluids have been removed, they can be disposed of safely and correctly – which is good news for the environment.

After the fluids have been removed, the car’s batteries, wheels, and tyres are taken off.

The tyres can be reused or recycled. For example, they can be made into rubber mulch for playgrounds. The metal from the wheels and batteries can also be melted down and reused in new products.

Next, all the remaining metal from the car body is recycled. This includes all ferrous metals (iron) and non-ferrous metals (such as aluminium).

The ferrous metal is separated from the non-ferrous metal using powerful magnets.

The ferrous metal is then melted down and used to create new steel products like poles and beams, while the non-ferrous metal is used to create new aluminium or other products.

Finally, any remaining parts that can’t be recycled are disposed of safely. This might include plastics, upholstery, glass, and carpets.


As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into recycling a car!

By recycling your old car rather than sending it off to the landfill, you’re not only doing your bit for the environment but you are also helping to create new jobs and products here in Australia.

So next time your car reaches the end of its life, make sure you recycle it. To do so seek a local car recycler or auto wrecker.

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