Recycling waste is a responsible way to repurpose items that may be considered trash. Plastic, paper, and glass are a few of the most commonly recycled materials. However, did you know that many of your car components can be recycled?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 75% of a typical vehicle is made up of metals, most of which can be recycled. The remaining 25% is made up of tires, fluids, and other materials. Finding a way to reuse these materials to make other useful items can make an impact on the environment. Here are a few examples of car components that can be repurposed and where you can recycle them.
How to Responsibly Dispose of Your Vehicle's Oils
Whether it is motor oil, antifreeze, or even filters, these components can be responsibly recycled. The used oils can be distilled and repurposed to make other engine oils, industrial fuels, or antifreeze at specialized re-refineries.
Recycling oils helps protect the environment by keeping toxic substances out of the water. Some oil change and automotive service centers accept used oil, and even select retailers will accept used motor oil for recycling for a small price.
How to Recycle Your Car's Battery
Most car batteries can be responsibly recycled after years of use. Once batteries reach their end of life, there are still a few elements that can be repurposed. Lead-acid inside batteries is considered toxic and cannot be placed into landfills. Specialized battery recycling plants can separate the plastics from the lead-acid and other materials inside the batteries.
Finding an outlet to recycle car batteries can be difficult, especially if you are replacing your own battery at home. One option is to return used car batteries to either the car dealership or service center. There are also specialized battery retailers that can accept car batteries for recycling.
How to Repurpose or Recycle Your Used Tires
The EPA estimates that over 290 million tires are disposed of annually. Tires are not considered biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose. They're also a major fire hazard, and if burned, they can be extremely harmful to the environment. Burning tires releases toxic gases into the atmosphere, and the residue leftover can pollute groundwater.
Because rubber materials can be used for many purposes, recycled tires can have many different uses. Many artificial mulches used in landscaping are made up of recycled rubber. Also, playgrounds and athletic tracks sometimes use these recycled materials.
In some places, you're legally required to recycle tires. If you live in one of these areas, there are usually designated drop-offs and times, so consult your local government to see if they have a collection available.
However, it is relatively easy to find a place to recycle your tires. Like the other materials listed above, car dealerships and service centers can accept tires, typically for free or a fee when you are getting new ones for your vehicle. If you are just dropping tires off at these places, usually there is a nominal fee to utilize this service. You can also consider listing your used tires online.
Get Started with Your Online Driver's Ed Course Today
In addition to increasing your awareness of recycling, you should also consider registering for one of DriversEd.com’s traffic school or driver's education classes to diversify your car and driving knowledge. These courses allow you to stay up to date with the latest road rules and regulations in your state.