Are Vehicle Junkyards Safe for the Environment?

Did you know that iron and steel comprise about two-thirds of automobile components? Even more impressive is that these two metals are endlessly recyclable. So, it’s no wonder 90% of these components in end-of-life vehicles can be reused.

Vehicle junkyards, in turn, play a massive role in the auto recycling process. Without them, more junk cars and auto parts can end up in landfills.

So, what exactly are vehicle junkyards, and what do they do? Are they safe for the environment, and if so, what are their benefits?

In this vehicle junkyard guide, we’ve compiled the answers to all those questions. Hopefully what you learn here will help you decide what to do with that junk car that’s only rusting away in your yard.

What is a Vehicle Junkyard?

A vehicle junkyard is an auto recycling center that buys wrecked, totaled, or junk cars. It takes apart vehicles that are no longer road-worthy and segregates their components. It then sells the separated materials to the next customer in the recycling chain.

Some examples of such customers are automotive, tech, and construction material manufacturers.

How Environmentally Safe Are Vehicle Junkyards?

Vehicle junkyards are businesses that must abide by zoning laws. An example is the Florida Junkyard Control Law. Each violation of this law can result in the junkyard paying a fine of between $50 and $200.

Junkyards must also follow stringent environmental policies, especially on hazardous waste disposal. For example, before dismantling vehicles, recyclers must remove all their fluids. These include antifreeze, brake fluids, gasoline, and oil, to name a few.

Proper vehicle fluid removal and disposal are crucial because they can be toxic. For example, ethylene glycol, the most common antifreeze, is highly toxic, even in low doses.

With all those laws, compliant recyclers go to great extents to ensure they follow the rules. After all, they don’t want to face hefty fines, much less risk their businesses.

How Do Junkyards Help the Environment?

A compliant vehicle junkyard benefits the environment by properly disposing of chemicals. It also plays a role in material recycling, reducing the need to harvest virgin materials. Material recycling, in turn, is crucial to reducing carbon emissions and pollution.

Proper Disposal of Automotive Chemicals

Flammable or toxic fluids leaks are amongst the top dangers of keeping junk cars at home. Antifreeze aside, decaying vehicles can also leak dirty oil, which can cause cancer. They may also allow poisonous windshield washer fluids or brake fluids to seep out.

Those chemicals can poison the environment through runoff. For example, if a junk or old car that is leaking fluids sits outside and gets rained on, the rain can pick up the substances. It can then carry those toxins to bodies of water, including those that supply drinking water.

Runoff is a massive problem in Florida, contributing to the pollution of its waters. Indeed, the Sunshine State’s lakes are now among the most polluted in the country. Their level of contamination is too high. Now, they’re unsafe to swim in, much less allow marine life to live.

So, instead of holding on to a junk car, it’s much safer to hand it over to a law-abiding vehicle junkyard. That way, experts can safely remove, recycle, or dispose of your clunker’s fluids.

Reducing the Need for New Materials

Iron and steel aside, aluminum is also an infinitely recyclable metal used in car parts. You can find it in alternator housings, gauges, rotors, radiators, spokes, and wheels, to name a few.

Endlessly recyclable means a material can get recycled over and over again, so its quality and property won’t degrade no matter how often you recycle it.

By recycling automotive metals, there’s less need to harvest raw materials.

Remember that iron and steel come from virgin iron ore, while aluminum comes from bauxite ore. Extracting these ores requires mining, which causes pollution and disrupts wild habitats.

Minimizing Carbon Emissions

Making new steel from recycled steel uses up to 10 times less energy than making new steel from virgin iron ore.

That’s fantastic news, as energy use results in carbon emissions. Carbon emissions, in turn, contribute to global warming and climate change.

That means by junking your old car with the help of a junkyard, you’re providing a source of recyclable metals. Businesses that need them can then rely less on parts made from raw materials.

The more materials we recycle, the less energy we need to make them and turn them into new products. That can then help contribute to lower carbon emissions.

Helping Curb Other Types of Pollution

Junk cars that aren’t disposed of properly are sources of land pollution. However, they don’t only pollute land surfaces. They also cause contamination below the ground. For example, the fluids they leak that runoff doesn’t carry away can seep into and poison the soil instead.

Degrading car components also pollute the air by releasing particles. For instance, decaying batteries, tires, and paints emit toxins into the environment.

Junk cars and auto parts disposed of in landfills can also cause air pollution through fires. For example, when tires catch fire, they emit toxic fumes that can cause genetic mutations. These include deadly substances like carbon monoxide, cyanide, and sulfur dioxide.

While tires aren’t easily combustible, it isn’t easy to put them out once they catch fire. 

That’s why it’s vital for junk and end-of-life vehicles to undergo proper recycling. Since that’s what junkyards do, they also help curb the pollution that decaying cars cause.

Law-Abiding Vehicle Junkyards Benefit the Environment

Vehicle junkyards are safe for the environment as long as they’re compliant. These law-abiding junkyards even benefit the environment through proper recycling. Their junk car and part disposal methods also help curb pollution. 

So, if you have a junk car just eating up space in your home near Orlando, consider having it towed away ASAP. 

If you choose All Car Buys, we’ll tow away your junk car for free and pay you cash for your clunker! Call us today to learn more about our services.