What Happens to Your Junk Car After You Sell It in Calgary? A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Recycling Process


In Calgary, a city that prides itself on sustainability and innovation, the life cycle of a vehicle doesn’t end at the junkyard. Instead, it marks the beginning of a fascinating journey through the recycling process, transforming what was once considered waste into valuable resources. Many car owners may not realize the intricate processes their vehicles undergo after they decide to sell them as junk. This post offers a behind-the-scenes look at what happens to your junk car after you sell it in Calgary, highlighting the steps involved in recycling and repurposing materials.

Collection and Initial Assessment

The journey begins when you decide to sell your junk car to a recycling service. Once the deal is finalized, the car is collected, typically with a tow truck, and transported to the recycling facility. Upon arrival, the vehicle undergoes an initial assessment to categorize it for the recycling process. This assessment determines whether the car has parts that can be refurbished and resold, materials that can be recycled, or if it’s destined for shredding.

Fluids and Hazardous Materials Removal

One of the first steps at the recycling facility is the removal of all fluids and hazardous materials. This includes gasoline, oil, coolant, and refrigerants, which are drained and collected for safe disposal or recycling. The removal of these substances is crucial for preventing environmental contamination and ensuring worker safety during subsequent stages.

Dismantling and Part Salvage

After draining the fluids, the car is dismantled. This step involves removing valuable parts that can be refurbished or reused. Components such as engines, transmissions, batteries, and tires are carefully extracted. Even items like GPS systems and stereos are salvaged if they’re in good condition. These parts are then cleaned, tested, and refurbished as necessary, before being sold to consumers or repair shops looking for cost-effective replacement options.

Metal Recycling

With the car stripped of its reusable parts and hazardous materials, the remaining shell primarily consists of metal. This metal, predominantly steel and aluminum, is prepared for recycling. The process involves shredding the vehicle’s body to separate metal from non-metal components.
The metal is then magnetically separated, melted down, and purified in a foundry. Finally, it’s formed into new metal sheets or ingots, ready to be used in the production of new vehicles or other products, thereby conserving valuable natural resources and reducing the environmental impact of new metal mining and processing.

Non-Metal Materials Processing

The recycling process doesn’t overlook the non-metal components of a car. Plastics, glass, and rubber are sorted and processed separately. For example, tires can be repurposed for various applications, including construction materials, playground surfaces, or fuel. Plastics are often ground down and recycled into new plastic products, contributing to the circular economy and reducing the demand for new plastic production.

The Final Impact

The comprehensive recycling process of a junk car in Calgary significantly contributes to environmental conservation, resource sustainability, and economic efficiency. By repurposing parts, recycling materials, and safely disposing of hazardous substances, the process supports Calgary’s sustainability goals. It showcases a commitment to minimizing waste, reducing the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing new products, and supporting a circular economy that values reuse and recycling.


Selling your junk car in Calgary initiates a complex, environmentally responsible recycling process that breathes new life into old materials. From careful dismantling and part salvage to the recycling of metals and non-metal components, each step of the process reflects a commitment to sustainability and resource conservation. By choosing to recycle your vehicle, you’re not just clearing space in your driveway; you’re contributing to a greener future for Calgary and beyond, reinforcing the city's standing as a leader in environmental stewardship and innovation.

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