October 25, 2022

Alloy Wheel Recycling: What is it and should you do it?

If your alloy wheels have reached the end of their working life and are due to be scrapped, consider recycling them instead. 

Modern day alloys are made from aluminium, a key component in many of our everyday products, which is why it is so important to recycle. 

What is alloy wheel recycling?

Alloy wheel recycling is a great solution to prevent waste of materials which can be reused again. When you need to replace your alloys on your vehicle, the alloys can be recycled for aluminium. 

It takes a huge amount of energy to extract pure aluminium from the ore through the use of high temperatures and energy-consuming mining techniques. 

However, recycling takes just 5% of the energy it does to get aluminium from the raw material, bauxite. 

Alloy wheels contain a significant amount of aluminium, meaning it’s always best to recycle your alloys so this aluminium can be reused. 

When should I recycle my alloy wheels?

If you need to get new alloys for your vehicle, or your vehicle has reached the end of its life and is being scrapped, this is a great time to recycle those old alloys. 

There are many recycling centres up and down the country which will be happy to take your alloys off you. Some scrap yards will also take the alloys off your hands, and may be able to offer you a price for them too. 

If you have a large quantity of alloy metals, some scrap yards will offer a collection service. 

How do I know if my alloy wheels need recycling?

When your alloy wheels are heavily damaged and need replacing, this is the perfect time to recycle them. 

This could include the alloys being heavily bent, scratched or cracked, though you may be able to get your alloy wheels repaired and keep them for much longer.

The heavier the damage, the more likely you will need to get your alloys replaced and the old ones sent to be recycled. 

If you are scrapping your vehicle, this is another perfect time to recycle your alloys since you won’t be driving that vehicle anymore. 

If you think that your alloys could be repaired, rather than recycling them straight away, then get in touch! Our experts can help you to understand the severity of damage on your alloys and what the next steps should be.

What happens to recycled alloy wheels?

Usually, once the alloys are all separated by metal type, materials are thrown into a large furnace to undergo a process called smelting. 

This process draws out most impurities from the metal, and is separated as a waste product. 

The base metal, aluminium, is then placed into moulds called ingots. These ingots can be shipped off and melted down to be used for whatever the manufacturer needs. 

This is a great example of why it is so important to keep reusable material out of landfill, and instead used for recycling purposes.

Why you should recycle alloy wheels

Not only can alloy wheels take up a lot of landfill areas, but they are a waste of raw materials if not used to their full potential. 

It takes a huge amount of energy to extract pure aluminium from bauxite ore. 

Recycling alloy wheels to extract aluminium uses up to 95% less energy than raw extraction. This is not only beneficial to the environment now, but for the future of the environment too. 

Recycling is also a great way to turn old objects into new, completely different ones. Your damaged alloys today could be turned into tomorrow’s frying pan, and vice versa.

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