Environmentally Friendly Car Disposal

Did you know that about 65% of your vehicle can be recycled? Did you know that cars not properly disposed of or left to sit in yards and driveways can have negative effects on our environment?
baker auto junk

by Michael Sharpe

Did you know that about 65% of your vehicle can be recycled? Did you know that cars left to sit in yards and driveways can have negative effects on our environment?

If you have an old clunker on your property, consider getting rid of it. But before you call a tow truck, don’t let your car end up in a landfill. Find an environmentally friendly option.

Why Should I Get Rid of My Car?

There are different reasons why someone would want to scrap an old clunker. Maybe there is no hope of fixing it, you’ve lost the title or you just no longer have use for it. Whatever the reason, it’s best not to let the car just sit on your property.

There are hazardous chemicals and fluids in a car that can be bad for the environment, not to mention the fact that broken down cars can be quite an eyesore. Instead of taking up space, you can turn your car into a benefit to you and others. The best options are:

Your car can help a charity and offer you a tax write-off.
Turn your old car into something new.

What's The Best Way to Dispose of My Car?


There are many organizations that accept car donations. They will resell your car (or resell the parts) and use the funds to help a particular charitable organization. Most companies will pick up your car for free and even help you with the DMV paperwork.

Advantages of Donating a Car

Be Green – Reuse and Recycle: Rather than scrapping your car, let someone reuse it. Companies that accept car donations either pass your car on to someone who needs it or they can sell off the working parts and properly recycle the rest. Either way, your car lives on.

Benefit a Charity: Help out a worthwhile charity. If the car is of no use to you anymore, you can feel good knowing that it’s going to help someone else in need.

Tax Benefits: Usually the sale amount of your car is tax deductible. For more information, consult the IRS web site or your tax advisor.

Honestly, what else are you going to do with it? You can usually donate your car whether it’s running or not. If you no longer need the car and just want someone to haul it away, then donating it is a great option.

Disadvantages of Car Donation

Car Title: You usually need the title of the car in order to donate it. If you do not have the title, there are still environmentally friendly options for disposal.

Potential Scams: Check out the company before you turn over your car for signs of potential fraud. Verify the name, location and Federal Tax Identification Number of the charity you are donating the car to and make sure you officially transfer the title with the DMV so you are no longer liable for the car.

Auto Recycling / Salvage

If you aren’t looking for tax write offs (or if your car isn’t eligible), there are many auto salvage yards that offer recycling options. Just like car donation companies, they usually offer free car pick up. While some salvage yards do require a title, many will take your old car without it and sometimes even help you get squared away with the DMV.

Be careful, not all auto salvage yards are environmentally friendly. Although the Clean Air Act of 1990 has guidelines in place for pollution prevention, if you want to make sure you’re doing all you can, do your homework to find the most environmentally friendly salvage yards in your area.

Benefits of Automobile Recycling

Automobiles are the most recycled product in the U.S. Many parts of your old clunker can be recycled:

  • Steel/Iron
  • Tires
  • Glass
  • Lead Parts
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Anti-Freeze and other fluids

Dangers of Automobile Disposal

It’s great that so much of a car can be recycled, but what about everything else? We have to be just as concerned about the parts that cannot be recycled.

There are some salvage yards that will remove working parts and crush the rest of the car without properly disposing of fluids and other parts that can hurt our environment. These parts and toxic chemicals can end up in landfills where they eventually get into our lakes, streams and groundwater.

Before you release your car, find out about how the salvage yard will be disposing of:

  • Fuel
  • Battery fluid
  • Anti-freeze
  • Brake Fluid
  • Mercury Switches
  • Lead

Some of these items can even be recycled, but at very least they need to be disposed of properly.

Future Incentives for Car Disposal

Not quite sure if you’re ready to get rid of your old car? Keep an eye out for legislation in 2009 that may offer incentives for turning in your old gas guzzler for a more fuel efficient model. Cars that are over 13 years old, cause 10 to 30 times more pollution than newer, greener models. Lawmakers and automobile companies are already starting to push trade-ins, so keep your eyes peeled for some good deals. Trading in an old car for a more fuel efficient one will help our economy, as well as our environment.

Bottom line. Don’t Let Your Car Become a Pollutant

Don’t allow your car to pollute your property or anyone else’s. Get it out of your yard, stop paying the auto insurance and turn it into a donation, a tax write off or a recycled piece of a new car.

Get rid of that old clunker and make your world a greener place.

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