Sustainability Principles

Auto Dismantling

Finding a purpose
for every part

Schnitzer’s Pick-n-Pull business embodies the idea that end-of-life vehicles are nothing more than resources out of place.

Our self-service auto parts stores receive end-of-life vehicles from many different sources, including tow companies, private owners, auto auctions, city contracts, and charities. Some of these cars can be found in streets, yards, fields, and even bodies of water, causing concerns for the environment and public safety in local communities. Pick-n-Pull provides an effective solution to this problem and, at the same time, offers affordable car parts for those who need them. Beyond the significant cost savings, choosing used parts over new conserves natural resources, energy, and space in landfills.

Materials Recovered from End-of-Life Vehicles
in 2019

112,504

pounds of refrigerants

1,347,729

gallons of oil

252,052

gallons of coolant

1,702,343

gallons of fuel

9,654,673

pounds of batteries

12,084,020

pounds of tires

illustration

These auto dismantling facilities recycle everything they possibly can. When a vehicle first enters one of our lots, we begin by removing and recycling fluids and hazardous materials such as lubricating oils, hydraulic fluids, gasoline and diesel fuels, coolants and washer fluids, and refrigerants. Some refrigerants recovered from many of the older vehicles we receive may possess ozone-depleting properties. Ensuring safe recovery and processing of these materials prevents harmful substances from entering the atmosphere and allows our recovery partners to generate valuable carbon credits. Beyond fluids and refrigerants, our removal process also includes batteries, which are tested and resold or recycled depending on their condition. We also remove mercury switches used in the engine compartment and trunk to prevent the release of toxic chemicals.

Next, the car is transferred to our sales yard, where customers can remove the parts they need as a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to purchasing new parts. Once most or all usable parts have been removed, we conduct a final check for parts that can be refurbished, such as transmissions, alternators, and compressors, and remove and sell these for remanufacturing. Finally, the vehicle is crushed and sent to metal shredders, including Schnitzer-owned facilities, where the next phase of recycling begins.