Monday, February 7, 2005

End of life automobile recycling

What happens to your car when it's done, finished, and no longer in the world? Does it just go into a landfill? What about all the valuable materials in the car?

The first step is a junk yard where any salvageable parts are removed. My father used to own a junk yard, and once enough parts were removed the bulk of the car was sent to a scrap yard. At the scrap yard the cars were crushed and melted for their metal.

But what about all the plastics and foams and cloths and whatnot in modern cars? What happens to them?

Agreement Will Reduce Auto Shredder Waste in Europe
: An agreement between Argonne National Labs and a company in Belgium to set up a plant that can process and recycle the mix of foams and plastics that would otherwise be "scrap" left over from shredding automobiles. Yup, this has the hallmarks of yet another technology invented in America but capitalized upon by foreigners. All because our government leaders have their hands so deeply in Industry's hands that they can't do the right thing.

Argonne and Industry to Tackle End-of-Life Vehicle Recycling
: Well, there is hope. This news release talks of cooperation with U.S. industry. And since it is cost effective maybe it will actually be deployed. Here's hoping ;-)

Vehicle Recycling Partnership Plant
: That's because Argonne has this facility for automobile recycling. Presumably it's a pilot plant and they don't mean to operate it commercially.

This page:

Recovering Usable Plastics from Automotive Scrap
on Argonne's site has more details.