Up Your Recycle Game with Vehicle Recycling

Recycling doesn’t simply entail separating your plastics from the papers. Recycling happens in all shapes and forms to protect what little we have on this beautiful planet. With regards to vehicles, if you expect your old or accident-damaged automobile will be put into a compactor and turned into metal and rubber, you may be in for a surprise. 

Reliable scrap car removal services in Toronto will tell you that Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) seek to recover 95% of a car’s materials. How do they do that? Let’s find out!

First, Depollution

All hazardous chemicals and fluids are removed from the vehicle when it arrives at the ATF. These include fuel, coolants, compressors, and other removable parts. 

Before any further operations begin, the recycling company must be sure that these parts are taken from the automobile and disposed of in a regulated manner – and ensure they won’t escape when the car is taken apart.

With millions of automobiles being disassembled in Canada each year, spilled oil and brake fluid pose a significant environmental risk if they are not properly managed.


The deconstruction process may begin now that the automobile is free of any dangerous fluids or materials.

Catalytic converters

In order to remove hazardous particles from exhaust fumes, a vehicle’s catalytic converter uses precious metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium, each more expensive than gold, in the process. Catalytic converters are both precious and dangerous if the ceramic inner is opened; thus, they must be removed from the vehicle and dismantled one at a time.

Recycled tyres

Some tyres can be used on other cars, but the majority will need to be recycled by a professional. To avoid environmental impact, it is best to recycle them rather than reuse them.

Recycled Glass and Glass Products

Despite the fact that shattered glass may appear to be a waste of space, it may be repurposed. Grinding down the glass returns it to sand, which may then be utilized as sand or heated to re-form it into glass.

Additional disassembly

It’s up to the recycling facility to decide what to do with the rest of the car after these things are removed. In some circumstances, the car will continue on to the next step of recycling intact – but in others, more pieces may be taken away.

This is also a good time to remove the vehicle’s plastic components. Plastic bumpers and dashboards are now standard on most automobiles, and some even feature plastic body panels. Many of these components are sold to be reused on other cars since they are durable and long-lasting. However, modern technologies allow the ‘thermoplastic polyolefin’ (TPO) used to create these parts may be recovered and utilized again in manufacturing.


Next, the car is demolished, which is referred to as ‘destruction.’ Even though the final product won’t look much like an automobile, nearly all of the damaged pieces will be recycled and utilized.

It’s at this point that the car’s surviving frame and body are crushed. Vehicles are often compressed with the use of a hydraulic press. The automobile may now be sent to a separate recycling facility where it will be shredded in a big, high-powered shredder.

The Car Will Live On

Even if you were sad to see your automobile go to a scrap yard, the materials it was constructed of will be used in many other applications. Your car’s dashboard and interior trimmings are recycled into polymers, microscopic plastic particles that may be utilized in tens of thousands of different manufacturing processes. It is common for these polymers to be used to make containers, furniture, plumbing pipes, and even clothes. Seating fabric may be turned into chairs or sofas, and your tyre may end up in a children’s playground!

What Actions Is Canada Taking Towards End-of-Life Vehicles?

Six initiatives are advocated to move Canada into a circular economy for automobile plastic.

  • The federal government and CCME are working on clarifying their aims and methods to eliminate plastic waste by 2030.
  • To reduce automotive plastic waste, the Canadian automotive sector is creating policies, strategies, and actions to enhance automotive plastics recycling and recovery (e.g. dismantling) and encourage automotive plastics reuse (e.g., dismantling).
  • Collecting and maintaining reliable statistics on car plastic waste creation, reuse, recycling, and diversion.
  • Forming a multi-stakeholder group to handle automobile plastics and other post-market issues.
  • Reuse/recycling of vehicle plastics, infrastructure for collection and processing, and worker training are being held.
  • The car sector in Canada and worldwide is undergoing positive changes. New electric car items can be designed with “Design for Environment” in mind, making it easier to repair, reuse, or recycle plastics.


Manufacturers may get raw materials and turn them into new goods by recycling old automobiles. As a customer, you have the power to make choices that will help the environment in the long run by supporting this business. To that end, the next time your automobile approaches the end of its useful life, think of recycling it the same way you recycle your cans.



About Joel Levy 2574 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography