Junkyards Rushing to Crush Clunkers

Cash for Clunkers worked out pretty well. It gave a much needed bump to new car sales and got some gas guzzlers off the road in the process. It’s also proving to be a boon for auto recyclers, who strip the traded in clunkers of any parts that can be resold, then crush them and sell the metal. That boon is turning out to be a lot of stress for the recyclers though, according to MSNBC.

Junkyards across the country are scrambling to meet their deadline just like the car dealers scrambled to meet theirs a few months ago. One of the provisions in the Cash for Clunkers bill is giving auto recyclers something to worry about. It states that any car traded in under the program has to be crushed or shredded within six months. Auto recyclers are asking for more time to meet that goal, saying that six months is not a long enough time period to fully process all the cars that were traded in, and many will be crushed with usable parts still inside them.

"True recycling is using something to its fullest potential and then recycling it over again by making it into steel and sending it out to become another engine or transmission or car," Jeff Cantor, an auto recycler in Candia, N.H told MSNBC. "We’re breaking that circle here by crushing good quality parts. We can’t process them quick enough in six months."

All those cars going to the crusher without being stripped of their useful parts would mean an end to the low parts prices in junkyards right now. A side effect of the Cash for Clunkers program is that the market is flooded right now with used parts, which is a good thing for people who decided to keep their jalopy rather than pay a new car loan. If the cars are all crushed before their parts can be pulled, some of those people might end up regretting their choice.