Time To Scrap That Old Car? Three Ways The Recycled Parts May Live Again

It's time. Your old clunker just won't turn over any more. Selling it to a scrap yard will usually bring in a bit of cash. Even better, many junker car parts can be recycled. Below are three ways your old car can "live again."

Industrial Uses of Scrap Metal

  • Melted scrap metal from old cars is used to make new steel. Some of it is made into sheet metal  to build new cars and some types of aircraft. Commuter trains, as well as the rails, are also often made from sheet metal.
  • Scrap metal, mostly iron and aluminum, is used for building bridges and roadways. Shredded metal is often added to the aggregate mix used to make cement, or added to asphalt to increase the lifespan of a paved highway.
  • Major appliances for both commercial and residential use are often created using recycled steel. That new refrigerator or stove in your home just may have been a vintage Ford or Chevy.

Home Use Items Using Scrap Metal

  • In addition to those refrigerators and stoves, scrap metal is used to make other useful home items. Plumbing fixtures, such as for faucets for the bathroom or kitchen, the metal frames in recessed lighting, and even the drawer pulls on your kitchen cabinets are common examples. Let's not forget about cookware. Stainless steel pots, cast iron frying pans, and covered roasters usually have recycled bits.
  • Head out into your back yard and you might find a metal patio table and chairs, maybe a garden bench or even a swing glider made entirely or partially out of recycled metals. If you have a metal fountain in your yard, chances are that metal is recycled.
  • Ride a bike or scooter? The metal they're made of just may have cruised down Route 66 in another life. It's the same for that little red wagon and other metal toys.

Scrap Metal Reborn as Art

Sometimes artists comb junk yards for bits of old cars they can turn into, well, just about anything. One example is Leo Sewell, a Philadelphia native that turns fenders, doors, hoods and whatever he can find into colorful oversized sculptures. One of his most famous pieces is a stegosaurus, a dinosaur with a spiked tail and the row of plates along its back. Not only did he cannibalize old car parts and tools, he used license plates and road signs to make the back spikes.

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