Circular Economy: Automotive Recycling

Circular Economy: Automotive Recycling

Several components of traditional vehicles are recyclable including the cores, body, trim, and metal reclaim. This blog will go over each of these components and conclude why it is essential to have an automotive recycling circular economy.


Cores consist of motors, transmissions, alternators, starters, brake calipers, and more. These essential parts of any vehicle need to be recycled at end-of-life. After these are recycled, they are sold into the remanufacturing market and rebuilt.

The body and trim, which consists of; bumpers, fenders, hoods, door panels, glass, etc., get resold into the collision repair sector.

Metal reclaim consists of aluminum from wheels, motors, transmissions, precious metals from catalytic converters, O2 sensors, spark plugs, copper wiring harnesses, iron from car bodies, etc. At the end of the vehicle’s life, these components get recycled for their commodity value.

Overall, the majority of your vehicle gets recycled. This is extremely important for the environmental challenges we face. The automotive recycling circular economy combats global warming by reducing greenhouse emissions. This circular economy also preserves the earth of its natural resources.

Roughly 25% of all new vehicles are created from recyclable components. Each year millions of cars are sent to recycling yards. Due to the volume, the automotive recycling industry is among the top in the world.

Not all of the components of your vehicle are recycled back into car manufacturing but also find their way into other industries. Glass can be extracted from recycled vehicles and used for other purposes such as a flux for melting steel, other metals and reproduced into new glass. Once the metals are all melted down, they can be sold to the manufacturer to satisfy the market’s needs. For example, precious metals from a scrap catalytic converter can make jewelry. Iron can be repurposed for structural steel and copper can be remanufactured for electronic devices and wiring. Recycling these components are cost-effective, generates employment, is excellent for the economy, and protects the environment.

Edmund Schwenk

CEO/Metallurgist of PGM Recovery Systems “The single most important factor when you sell auto catalyst from used catalytic converters is the assay, not terms! Assay transparency is paramount! Many de-canners we speak to believe they are not getting correct assays on their material. Some have de-canned, shipped to other companies and received a little more than they could have sold their whole converters for in the first place.”Mission Statement: We at PGM Recovery Systems are providing information and transparency to the catalytic converter recycling industry in an effort to promote a value system of fair dealing. As a result of providing the industry with the proper tools to increase their profits, we are developing long-term relationships with suppliers.