Recycling means of transportation

Transportation has changed rapidly throughout the last two centuries, and as more types of vehicles were developed, disused ones started to constitute a major waste problem, especially when in great numbers and of sizeable dimensions.

Many people depend on their personal vehicle for their livelihood and hold on to it until they have to scrap it; just as many though choose to replace their cars periodically with newer models providing a higher performance.

Needless to say, some means of transportation are more ecological than others – bicycles for instance are starting to replace cars in a number of urban environments, whenever possible, in order to reduce air pollution. Bicycles, motorcycles, cars and other vehicles alike can be dismantled and the parts recycled into new similar parts or different items altogether.



People who own one or more bicycles they no longer want to keep are welcome to donate them to one of the many bicycle recycling schemes in the UK. They can donate whole or fragmented bikes and also helmets and other accessories, such as locks, reflectors, tires or repairing tools. Before making a donation, you should carry out a thorough examination of the items you are giving away, in order to determine whether they are usable or should be sent to a scrap yard instead.


Bicycles incorporate a number of materials, such as metal, rubber and plastic. The most part of a bicycle is made from steel, which is renowned for its durability and robustness. In fact, steel is among the recyclables with the highest recycling rate and is turned into items of a similar quality as the recycling process does not diminish its excellent physical properties.

Recycling means of transportation


With an average of at least one car per household and much lower prices than the rest of Europe, the UK facilitates changing older cars on a regular basis for newer, improved cars. The low price usually paid for a superior used car and the stricter laws regulating driving nowadays sometimes determine car owners to scrap their cars rather than fix them, since it might result more economical.

Moreover, some cars are inefficient in terms of fuel consumption or generate a high amount of pollutants which contaminate the atmosphere. Car scarp yards are quite lucrative in this day and age; they dismantle the vehicles and salvage any valuable, functional part to sell on for a convenient price.

Akin to those of many vehicles, car bodies are made from steel, which is worth recycling not only for environmental reasons but for the financial motivation as well. Since they are very bulky, car bodies are crushed and baled before being transported to a steel recycling facility, to reduce their volume and thus reduce the number of trips needed in order to complete their conveyance.

Aside from steel, cars also incorporate other methods, as well as other materials such as rubber, fabric and padding. When cars arrive at the recycling facility, the next step in their processing is shredding them, to consequently separate the pieces according to the type of metal they are made from. Steel alone, when recycled, is said to use up to 74% less energy than would be used to obtain it from raw materials.

You can also sell or donate parts and accessories directly, such as tires, car seats, child seats, radios, cassette or CD players, oil filters, radiators, wheels and so forth. There are broad ranges of car accessories one might not want anymore (some more useful than others, as commercial inventiveness has produced plenty futile items as well).


Unfortunately, out of all motor vehicles, motorcycles are the most likely to be involved in an accident. Not surprisingly, motorcycle scrap yards are packed and sometimes motorcycle parts even go to landfill. You can scrap, sell or donate whole motorcycles or parts (an evaluation of their current condition beforehand is always advisable). Some scrap yards take all existing types and similar categories of vehicles, such as ATVs, scooters or three wheeler

Motorcycle scrap yards generally accept parts as well, such as tires, gas tanks, alternators, breaks, coils, wheels, starters, headlights and so forth. They also supply these parts to customers, after making sure they are in good condition.

When you need a replacement part for your motorcycle, turning to a trustworthy second-hand retailer might be the best idea. First of all, you have a better chance of finding a functional part (the exact type you had or a very similar type which works well as a replacement), rather than having to order a new one and possibly wait for weeks or even months. Moreover, this option is obviously preferable in terms of expenditures, as it will result much cheaper.

When it comes to motorcycle helmets, there are various uses for those no longer needed by their owners. They can be taken to scarp yards or given away to emergency services such as rescue centres or fire stations to place on dummies which are used for simulating rescue operations involving motorcyclists. These operations occur quite frequently nowadays.


A large number of disused tyres are nowadays reused or recycled, both processes bringing many economic as well as environmental benefits. Reusing tyres is centred on a process referred to as retreading, which involves reprocessing worn tyres and putting them back on the market at much lower prices compared to brand new ones.

Tyre recycling is a lucrative activity as well, as a variety of products can be obtained from it. The resulting material can be used for outdoor surfacing and landscaping, like road surfacing, playground covers, walkways, sports surfaces and so forth.

It can also be used for indoor flooring products, carpet underlay and mats, for horticulture (gardening equipment such as hoses), constructions, transport (especially traffic management paraphernalia), and a multitude of other applications.

There are many benefits to opting for this material instead of others: among them, the fact that it is non-toxic, does not emit odours and cannot be damaged by insects. Its sound attenuation qualities also make it a very good choice for landscaping and flooring.

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Did You Know?

spacer According to Defra, each person in England produced an average of 457 Kilograms of waste in 2009-10. Of this, an average of about 181 Kilograms per person was recycled. That left 60% of un-recycled waste, at an average of 276 kilograms per person.

From Protect Our Environment