MARCH 2012

96 percent of auto repair shops recycle scrap metal

Auto repair shops play a key role in protecting the environment with 96 percent reporting they recycle the scrap metal from automotive components, according to a study done by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

Shops are recycling the scrap metal from many auto parts, including alternators, brakes, engines and transmissions. The volume of material recycled annually in the U.S. includes 74 million metric tons of iron and steel, 4.7 million metric tons of aluminum and 1.8 million metric tons of copper, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

According to ISRI, recycling one ton of steel conserves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone, and the energy saved using recycled materials versus virgin materials is up to 58 percent for iron and steel, 92 percent for aluminum and 90 percent for copper. If the ferrous scrap that is recycled in the U.S. were put into rail cars, the train would stretch 11,349 miles, nearly halfway around the world.

In addition to recycling scrap metal, automotive aftermarket companies, including auto repair shops, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and jobbers, routinely recycle tires, batteries, used oil and oil filters, parts cleaning solvents, plastics, cardboard and paper, a/c refrigerant, dunnage and wood pallets.