Reuse for Recycle
Singapore legislates that useful life-span-of – vehicles on the roads is for only 10 years; after which it is mandatory to re-apply for further extension beyond this period.
With our cost of living escalating and the corresponding vehicle maintenance cost increasing substantially, current trend has resulted in many vehicle owners opting to use public transport instead. As a consequence, we now see a rapid increase in the numbers of vehicles attaining their end of life (EVL) after reaching their 10 years of use.
The other category of EVL are those premature cases; vehicles damaged beyond their economical repair cost mainly as a result of accidents. All these vehicles are now deemed classified as scrap and procedurally will undergo the normal process called recycling. As a responsible society, we need to be receptive and responsible to environmental issues and to ensure vehicles being recycled are processed in the most eco-friendly way.
The best practice of recycling is in the reuse of parts. It does not only save repair cost for vehicle owners but also contribute to resource and environmental conservation.
The reuse of parts which is the highest level of recycling, can also be termed product recovery and minimises the amount of waste.
Recovery of materials and products can be defined as the recovery process which include reuse and recycle. Material and product recovery are carried out mainly due to three reasons: (1) hidden economic value of waste, (2) market requirements and (3) government regulations.
Material recovery mostly includes disassembly for separation and processing of materials (e.g. carrying out necessary chemical operations) of used products. The main purpose is to minimize the amount of disposal and maximize the amount of the materials returned back into the production cycle.
Product recovery includes disassembly, cleaning, sorting, replacing or repairing bad components, reconditioning, testing, reassembling and inspecting.
Recycling of automobiles essentially consists of two stages, viz., dismantling and shredding. The dismantler removes reusable components and particularly valuable materials fractions (e.g. vehicle body castings, batteries, etc.).
Tires and fluids are also removed to allow the remaining body and the chassis to be sent to the scrap yard to be eventually recycled.
Components of end of life vehicle parts being recycled:
Steel – mainly manufactured for the car body, engine, suspension, wheels, trunk, doors, hood and transmission. Steel is the most recycled material to our knowledge and can be recycled repeatedly without losing their quality or strength.
Aluminium – like steel, aluminium is also used in the manufacture of parts of the car engine, the radiator, transmission, wheels and the suspension. This material can also be recycled repeatedly without loss of quality as well.
Copper – is mainly used in the manufacture of the car electrical wiring system. In addition, copper is also utilized for the fabrication of car radiators.
Batteries – lead being the major metal component being extracted for recycling.
Rubber – They are the key product in the production of car tyres. Many different processes are used to recycle tyres; these include manufacture of carpet underlay and sports surface.
Resin – Resin material is used in the manufacture of bumpers.
Glass – Windscreens and car windows are produced from glass material.
Polyurethane – This material is used mainly for the production of car seats and as sound proofing material for cars.
Plastics – have high impact and corrosion resistant characteristic and are excellent for recycling and reuse.
Reuse parts of dismantled Cars
Some of the major reusable vehicle parts commonly in demand:
Engines, Front / Rear Cuts, Bumpers, Tyres, Doors, Catalytic converters, Rims, Radiators, Windows, Windscreens, Seats, Starters, Steering wheels, Fuel Tanks etc.