Every 20 minutes Americans discard enough cars to form a stack as high as the Empire State Building. Fortunately, the steel in the vehicle body and the metals in the engine block are usually recycled.
Due to problems with car theft and vehicles being abandoned, you must be able to prove you are the legal owner of a vehicle--and its major parts--before a scrap dealer can legally take it from you. However, Washington's junk vehicle certification program allows for an abandoned vehicle on your property to be towed if it meets 3 of 4 criteria and has been signed by an officer of record from the city police or county sheriffs department.
Drain all fluids (antifreeze, brake fluid, gasoline, motor oil, transmission fluid, etc.). Remove batteries, gas tanks, tires, oil filters and fuel filters. Have certified personnel extract chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from vehicles with air conditioning; a removal of CFCs certification must be provided.
Many auto wrecking businesses will pick up complete cars (those with motors and transmissions still intact) for no fee. If the vehicle has been scavenged for parts and motors, you can still drop it off at the wrecking yard for free. Some wrecking yards or shredders will pay for the scrap metal in your car. Check your local phone directory for a listing of "Automobile Wreckers Salvage." For disposal information about the items listed in the Materials section see individual listings below.
Where does it go next?
Metals are separated by type and melted in furnaces to raw material for manufacturing new metal products. Steel, iron, copper, tin and other metals take tremendous amounts of energy to manufacture. During mining processes to extract raw ores, valuable natural habitats are damaged. Recycling scrap metals conserves energy, limited resources and wildlife habitat.