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Recycling Automotive Parts Makes You a Responsible Car Owner (and Better Looking)

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Even if your car isn’t on the eco-friendly list, i.e. a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV), you can lighten its carbon footprint by recycling much of its discarded parts. From oil and batteries to filters, and more, much of your vehicle’s waste does not have to go to waste.

Oil, transmission and brake fluids are perfect candidates for recycling, according to PopularMechanics.com writer Michael Austin. If you do the work yourself, you can collect the fluids into a washer-fluid or oil bottle and head to your local auto parts store where the staff should be happy to accept your donation, reports Austin, or head to a hazardous-waste facility or recycling center. And, according to Austin, if a recycling center accepts oil, it probably accepts oil filters, also, but double check with the center before you go. If you delegate the changing of vehicle fluids to a professional, HowStuffWorks.com writer Eric Leech, reports that the shop staff should take care of the recycling.


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Coolant, which should never be mixed with oil, should be deposited at a hazardous-waste facility or at an Advance Auto Parts store, advises Austin.

Auto parts such as the battery, brake caliper, water pump, and alternator can be returned to an auto parts store, in most cases for a bit of money, according to Austin. And, be careful of a battery that leaks, which is dangerous, warns Austin; be sure to properly enclose it in heavy plastic when transporting.

Since sometimes the wheels do stop turning, take your old tires to a recycling center, advises Leech; once recycled, your old tires can be reborn as fuel or artificial playground turf. Austin notes that many tire stores will accept your old tires for a fee, too.


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According to Leech, automotive safety glass “cannot be recycled at just any facility,” because it differs from regular glass, so check the status of your center.

Much of what makes up a vehicle is toxic to the environment if not disposed of correctly; when parts of your vehicle have seen better days, drive to your local recycling center, auto parts store, or hazardous-waste facility for proper and final car maintenance. The Earth will thank you for it.

News Source: Popular Mechanics, How Stuff Works

  • Kelly

    Even better – when YOU need a repair, repair with used/recycled auto parts. Every car on the road is running on used parts, after all, and they’re way cheaper than new OE parts.