Thousands upon thousands of cars travel the world’s highways every day. For many years old cars and trucks collected in open fields, behind fences or in the pasture on farms. They were left to rust away. As time passed, some enterprising individuals began to collect old motor vehicles, strip them of usable parts and offer the parts back to people who were repairing cars. Car bodies and frames were recycled for the steel.

If you have an old car or a collection of old parts, contact your trash pickup service or city department and ask if they have suggestions for how to get rid of the parts. In most cases, landfills and municipal governments won’t be able to take parts. They can’t be placed in the landfill. Someone may be able to point you toward a recycling service or a parts buyer.

Auctions, “Junk” Yards

Atlanta, Georgia, USA — Auto parts store and garage in Atlanta, Georgia. Photograph by Walker Evans. Undated. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

There are still many locations around the globe that will accept old auto parts. Some will pay you a small fee for the parts while others simply provide you a place to get rid of the items. In some situations you might find an energetic individual who will take old parts and recycle them in one section of their business and sell parts in another part of the business. These are good sources for getting rid of a car that no longer runs.

Another good idea for moving those parts is the online auction house. The Internet has given people some great sources for passing unwanted items along to other people who need them. You may be able to find an online-auction service that will take your parts or you can list them on a “self-serve” auction such as eBay. If you want to use the old “classified ad” route, list your parts in the local newspaper or on a Web site like Craig’s List.

A Final Review
If there are no other options, you might want to use some of those old parts to create usable craft items, flower planters etc. One enterprising young fellow made a career out of using car parts to create sculptures. He even used this method for a college degree!

So, when you are tired of looking at those old cars and car parts lying around, make a list. If you have a lot of smaller, spare parts, hook up with someone who can clean them and resell them. You may put a little money in your pocket. If this isn’t possible, get those parts to a recycling service. Whether the parts are metal, cloth, plastic etc. find a way to recycle them rather than filling up a landfill with junk.

When you are dealing with a lot of smaller parts, make sure you know what you have. Make a detailed list. Be specific, even if it means doing a little parts-number research. Separate parts in general categories. This will speed up the process and may bring you a few more dollars when you find someone to buy your parts.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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