How to Recycle Auto Parts

An Overview On Recycling Used Auto Parts

Whether you like to get your hands dirty repairing your vehicles or you leave that up to the auto repair shop, you’ll likely have to deal with how to recycle auto parts if you own a vehicle. Everything from hoses to transmissions to windshields to car seat covers add to the waste created by your car. Though these are difficult things to recycle, we’ve got a few resources to make the job easier.

Recycling windshields and wiper blades

Since windshields are made with layers of glass and flexible plastic (for safety reasons), they’re one of the most difficult things about your vehicle to recycle. Companies like Glassgo have developed methods for recycling windshields, but the practice has yet to catch on. Others are using windshield glass to make interesting new products like:

In general, recycling windshield glass involves breaking up the glass into chunks and separating it from the plastic. The materials are then used in separate recycling procedures to create new products.

If you want to recycle your windshield, you’ll have to do some asking around - at your local recycling center, solid waste management authority, or your windshield repair shop. Or start your own windshield glass recycling business! Alternatively, when replacing your windshield, ask for a recycled/salvaged windshield rather than purchasing one that’s brand new.

As for windshield wiper blades, you can try to recycle the various components by pulling apart the metal and plastics and disposing of the materials separately. Alternative, reuse them as squeeges in your shower or for washing windows!

Recycling vehicle seat covers and car floor mats

Another auto recycling issue altogether are seat covers, especially since they contain a variety of materials, including synthetic fibers, cotton, neoprene, polyurethane, and sometimes sheepskin. Many of these components can be recycled into new products - the foam can be ground up to make carpet backing, polyurethane can be reused in making new floor mats and tire covers, and so on. Finding a way to recycle these can be a challenge, though. If they’re in good condition, it’s best to clean them up and either sell them or give them away. See our recycling database for ideas. 

Recycling car parts

Those other miscellaneous engine auto parts can also be a mystery when it comes to recycling. They contain metals, plastic, fluids, and other materials. Thankfully, recycling these can be a bit easier than other options:

  • Recycling centers: Check with your local facilities to see if they take scrap metal, and if so, they’ll likely recycle car parts, too. Some may even have the capability to recycle belts and rubber hoses, radiators, used oil filters, and transmissions.
  • Auto repair shops: Ask at your local repair shop wither they have ways to recycle auto parts. Some will charge a fee, while others will recycle them by refurbishing and reselling them.

Selling used auto parts

There are numerous companies that will buy your used auto parts from you. To find one in your area, simply do a search for something like “selling used auto parts” or “trade car parts” + your city/town name and you’ll be sure to find something close by. Often these organizations will repair and refurbish used auto parts to make them usable again in another vehicle, which is even better than recycling.


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