Tyres and Other Rubber
Tyres and rubber have a wide range of practical uses including being deployed as crash barriers and flood defences or, being ground up and used on 3G sports and playground surfaces.
Batteries and Electrics
Batteries are carefully stripped before crushing, to ensure the potentially harmful lead, plastic and acid can be reused, while valuable copper wiring can be sold on or recycled.
Some glass can be removed whole and resold; some gets recycled, and the rest is shredded to dust. This dust used to end up in landfills, but Toyota has since pioneered ways of turning it into fuel.
These artificial fibres were once impossible to recycle, but Toyota has found a way to reprocess the off-cuts from production to create backing material for new carpets.
Recycling plastics can be difficult, but since 1981 Toyota has made it easier by marking what type of plastic each component is made of. Plastic components are designed to fit together without metal fasteners, while a new kind of plastic that can be recycled more than once without degrading has been created.
Once your Toyota has been stripped of anything that can be recycled separately, it is crushed into a 'bale' about a metre long. The cubed car is ground into fragments by a shredder with tungsten hammers that beat it into fist-sized fragments; the steel is picked out by magnets. The price of steel is high, making it a very valuable commodity. After recycling, it will be as good as new – and could even end up in another car.
Lightweight materials such as aluminium are even more valuable than steel. Some parts, such as alloy wheels, are removed and smelted separately, but the rest is picked out after shredding and recycled. At least 98% of metal in a car is recycled.
These can pose the most serious threat to the environment by contaminating the water supply, but Toyota dismantlers don't spill a drop. Fuel is filtered and used to power the recycling plant's machinery; oil, coolant and hydraulic fluids are cleaned up and reused.