Like any machine made by humans, a car will eventually outlive its usefulness and will no longer be safe to drive. Whether the vehicle has been around for decades and begun to rust beyond repair, or it was involved in a major accident and is now a complete write off, a time may come when you have to send it to the local Vancouver salvage yard. Before you do however, you may want to learn more about what happens with your old car at certain junk yards. By now you have probably seen a car being crushed on TV or in the movies, but do you know what exactly happens to all the materials salvaged from the vehicle after it has been mashed? In order to make the most responsible choice as to where you send your car to be salvaged, consider some of the following information.

In many cases, a typical salvage yard is only interested in the metal from your car. Metal such as steel and aluminum are found in most cars, and can be salvaged for a profit. But simply extracting the metal from an old car to be salvaged doesn’t account for the many other materials and hazardous liquids that are left behind. Some junk yards will simply discard these other materials and liquids, with no regard for their impact on the environment. Its not secret that letting things like oil and antifreeze seep into the ground water will have a negative impact on the environment, but nonetheless many junk yards will discard these toxic fluids and materials without a second thought. That is why it is important to send your car to a responsible vehicle recycling centre.

Salvage yards that operate under Canada’s Retire Your Ride Vehicle Recycling Program offer a more environmentally friendly solution to vehicle disposal. There are many salvage yards in Vancouver that operate under the Retire Your Ride umbrella and they meet the requirements of the Canadian Automotive Recyclers’ Environmental Code. These salvage yards are able to recycle around 80% of your vehicle in a few steps, beginning with fluid draining and responsible disposal. Things like engine oil, coolant and fuel are all drained from the car and properly salvaged or disposed. At this time the car’s gas tank and battery are also removed.

Next, things like tires are removed and resold if possible. After that the engine is dismantled and any usable components are reconditioned and sold to other customers to reduce the number of aftermarket replacement car parts that need to be newly manufactured each year. Only once all the salvageable and dangerous materials are removed will the car be crushed, and the metals are magnetically separated for further salvage.

The next time you have an old car that needs to be sent to the salvage yard, consider bringing it to a Retire Your Ride location to reduce its environmental impact and preserve any and all useful parts for the future.

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