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The Hidden Dangers of You-Pull-It Junkyards


U-pull-it junkyards, also known as auto salvage yards, are becoming a environmental concern for communities the world over.

Vehicles at the end of their usable life, and those that cannot be sold are sent to salvage yards where they rust and rest.

Traditional junkyards are starting to dwindle in numbers, and this is a good thing. The classic junkyard is unmonitored and poses numerous risks to the environment as well as the community they are in.

Today, more consumers are taking their vehicles to car recycling centers like My Auto Store. Why?

A vehicle recycler offers spare parts for consumers so that they can repair or replace components in their current vehicle for cheaper, but these companies prevent cars from sitting and going to waste.

Why the Common Salvage Yard Poses a Significant Risk to the Environment and Your Health

The biggest concern with salvage yards is the issue of groundwater and soil contamination.

Each year in the United States, Wikipedia states that 12 to 15 million vehicles reach the end of their life. These cars do not run; therefore, consumers cannot trade them in or sell them for profit. Instead, these vehicles go to a junkyard, you-pull-it junkyard center, or are put into recycling centers.

For those that dispose of their unwanted vehicles in traditional salvage yards, there are serious environmental concerns with auto salvage yards, including:

  • Petroleum Hydrocarbons: These vehicles contain motor oil, petroleum, gasoline and diesel fuels. All of these fluids have hydrocarbons, which are toxic and known carcinogens, says the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
  • Heavy Metals: Heavy metals migrate from salvage yards during storm runoff. They contaminate groundwater and can make their way to oceans. Vehicles are known to have nickel, aluminum, mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium.
  • Acids: There are various acids present at vehicle salvage yards; especially from rotting vehicle batteries. Acids significantly impact the chemistry of the soil, which can affect human health and plant growth in the area.
  • Solids: Suspended solids, especially in high concentrations, can settle into riverbeds and affect invertebrates and plants.
  • MtBE: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MtBE) was removed from gasoline back in 2005 after Congress approved the Energy Policy Act. This chemical compound was a fuel additive for gasoline in the United States as an octane enhancer. After finding contaminants of MtBE in groundwater, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started a public awareness campaign. While modern vehicles no longer use MtBE, older vehicles (those likely in salvage yards) will have MtBE leeching into groundwater.

Salvage Yards are Grossly Under Monitored

The Environmental Protection Agency does have some requirements for salvage yards in the United States. However, these salvage yards are rarely inspected after receiving their permits. Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, the EPA requires salvage yards and you-pull-it centers to obtain special permits.

Part of the permit process is requiring these facilities to have safeguards in place during dismantling, storing parts and cleaning areas.

However, after the initial inspection, it is rare for the EPA or state officials to visit these sites again to ensure they comply.

The Benefits of Taking Your Vehicle to a U-Pull-It Recycling Center as an Alternative

  1. Better for the Environment

You-pull-it centers are working for the environment.

They are responsible, and they work to remove harmful contaminants before allowing vehicles to sit in the yard.

Most, like My Auto Store, eliminate the components necessary and place them in inventory, then shred the metal of the vehicle down to be used for vehicles and other steel products in the future.

All vehicle components that cannot be sold or reused at My Auto Store are de-polluted, dismantled and recycled. Core components recovered are then used for vehicle production in the future.

Most importantly, our decommissioning is done indoors in a controlled environment so that there is no risk to the soil or groundwater on our grounds. We also remove all harmful materials and dispose of them following strict EPA standards. Refrigerant and mercury products are removed and disposed of so that they cannot leech into groundwater or contaminate our environment.

  1. Fewer Demands on the Environment for Future Materials

When vehicles are recycled and components sold at you-pull-it facilities, there are fewer demands on the environment for future materials to construct new vehicles or parts for repairs.

Recycling steel saves energy and natural resources required to produce new steel. Recycling takes 74 percent less energy than producing new products, says Wikipedia. Also, recycling preserves 11 million tons of steel and approximately 800,000 non-ferrous metals out of salvage yards and back into consumer vehicles.

  1. Get Cash for an Unwanted, Non-Operational Vehicle

The biggest advantage for you taking your car to a you-pull-it provider like My Auto Store is that you get cash for your unwanted vehicle – even if it cannot run.

We take vehicles that are no longer operational, but still have valuable components and metals that are viable for recycling and repurposing. In return, you get cash for a vehicle that you would otherwise not be able to sell to the consumer market.

In our minds, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

U-Pull-It is the Environmentally Safe Alternative to Salvage Yards

While salvage yards are there for you to pick through and find parts, they are hazardous to the health of our loved ones as well as the environment. A you-pull-it company that offers recycling and part inventory is the better route for everyone involved.

When you have a vehicle that no longer runs, do not take your car to traditional salvage yards. Instead, bring it over to My Auto Store.

Our team can provide you with a quote in as little as 24 hours online, and we will come pick up the vehicle for you if it does not run.

Fill out the online quote form for your vehicle or check out our quality used engines and transmissions online! If you need other auto parts please fill out a form or contact one of our team members so we can check our inventory!


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