Where do cars go to die?
With global leaders battling to agree on targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and only around 25 years left before Earth reaches a critical tipping point, abandonment of fossil fuels and widespread adoption of electric vehicles are inevitable. And as petrol and diesel vehicles confront annihilation, an unexpectedly positive story of sustainability can be told.
A recent crushed-car competition at LynnMall Shopping Centre that invited people to guess the make and model of an obliterated vehicle that had been written off after a light crash attracted 11,000 entries. The broken-car collection company Zebra, which crushed the vehicle, first put it through a seven-step recycling programme that is applied to every car that arrives at the Zebra car-wrecking yard in Onehunga: ^ Gas extraction process to remove and reuse or recycle all liquids, including fuel, oil, brake fluids, battery acid and aircon gases Checking for parts to ascertain the stillusable pieces of the vehicle Manual removal of usable parts, a process that takes about 1.5 hours per vehicle Loading of parts into containers for export Recycling of broken car parts and scrap Filtering and reusing of fuel and reselling of good tyres locally What remains is crushed and sent to the metal recycling plant The recycling of cars is a complicated and highly specialized process that does a world of good for the environment. Old cars are taken off our roads (thus lowering emissions and particulate pollution and enhancing road safety), while developing countries are sold good car parts at affordable prices.