4 Ways to Dispose of Your Old Vehicle Without Harming the Environment
Looking to get rid of an older vehicle but want to be environmentally-conscience? You have options.
- By Phoebe Owen
- Jun 23, 2023
Consumers today are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest products, and this extends into the automotive market. While most cars are designed to be driven for over a decade, many drivers choose to replace their vehicles much sooner. This rapid rate of replacing our vehicles could have a harmful impact on the environment if we don't take care to dispose of our unwanted cars responsibly. Here are four eco-friendly ways to rehome or dispose of your old vehicle to minimize your environmental damage.
Sell it Privately or Trade it in
Reusing always comes before recycling, so if your vehicle is driveable, consider selling it instead of simply scrapping it. Selling privately usually allows you to get the best price for your vehicle, but it can be time-consuming. An alternative is to sell to a used car dealership or trade your old car in when purchasing a new one.
Passing your car on to be used by another driver keeps its parts from ending up in a landfill before the end of their useful life. To get the maximum environmental benefit from this approach, it’s important to fix any mechanical faults to ensure it remains in good working condition as you pass it on. Otherwise, your old car could be causing more damage to the planet.
Donate it to Charity
An alternative to selling a driveable or repairable car is donating it to charity. There are lots of charities that fix up used cars and donate them to people in need, such as veterans, disabled people, and families with chronically ill children.
Alternatively, you could involve charity in your car sale by donating some of the profit to a cause close to your heart. To further support the environment, consider making a donation to an organization that champions environmental protection after selling your car privately.
Sell it to a Recycling Facility
Car recycling plants first remove any remaining gasoline, oil, and other combustible fluids and arrange for these to be reused or safely disposed of. Then, they strip usable parts from the vehicle and sell them. Dismantling and crushing happens next and the vehicle's remaining metal is sold to dealers who melt it and recycle it into new products. Eighty-six percent of parts from end-of-life vehicles can be recycled, with approximately 27 million ELVs being recycled across the world each year.
By making sure your car is recycled rather than simply crushed and scrapped in a landfill, you can prevent harmful materials from leaching into the environment. Plus, you help to reduce the use of non-renewable natural resources by supplying the manufacturing industry with recycled materials.
Reusing is always a more eco-friendly option than recycling, since additional resources will need to be used to power the recycling process. However, there are many environmental benefits to be had from this approach. Most notably, materials that are put through the process can be repurposed which saves additional natural resources being stripped from the Earth, helping to preserve these precious reserves for future generations.
Strip it for Parts
If you know your way around a vehicle or are prepared to learn, you could strip your car down for parts and sell them privately. Providing you are competent and able to strip your vehicle properly and responsibly, this can be a great option to dispose of your car in an environmentally friendly manner. If you don’t have the knowledge or wherewithal to remove your car’s parts properly, you could in fact be causing more damage to the environment, especially if the toxic chemicals in automotive fluids leak out.
Dispose of your Vehicle Responsibly
We all need to do our part to protect the environment, so be sure to resell, donate or recycle your old vehicle in a responsible manner when upgrading to a new car.