Talking Sustainability and Transportation
Monthly Poll: Do you eat in the car?

Recycling Your Ride – Good for the Earth and Your Wallet

Recycle your car

I read today that the average vehicle gets retired after about 11 years of service. This is good news – back in 1995, a car generally lasted about eight years before being scrapped. But I felt a pang of anxiety when I remembered that our beloved Saturn Vue, Chloe, is coming up on 10 years old.

I’m not going to lie – I dread the day that we have to retire Chloe. She’s so reliable and comfortable and Saturn doesn’t make cars anymore, so finding a vehicle to match the glory of Chloe will be a challenge. Fortunately, she is well-maintained and is driven sparingly, so we expect her to last far longer than the average, non-glorious vehicle.

Still, it got me thinking - what do you do with your vehicle when it’s time for it to retire? Well…it turns out you can recycle it!

You can check to see if the manufacturer of your vehicle has their own auto recycling program; often auto manufacturers will offer incentives, like a substantial credit towards purchasing a new vehicle, if you recycle your ride with them. But if your car manufacturer does not run such a program, check out Retire Your Ride.

Retire Your Ride is a national program that the federal government started back in 2009 as a way to incentivize drivers with vehicles from years prior to 1995 to retire their high emissions cars. The program was meant to wrap up in 2011 but it was so successful that it still exists today, though it’s now managed by the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.

How does it work? When you’re ready to say goodbye to your vehicle, you fill out a form on the Retire Your Ride website and your vehicle information is passed on to a network of local certified auto recyclers. Each of them bid on your vehicle and Retire Your Ride presents you with the highest bid. If you accept the bid, then they’ll come get your vehicle and leave you with a cheque. Pretty sweet!

The recycling process is composed of three parts. The auto recycler will:

  • Dispose of your vehicles toxic fluids and/or parts in an environmentally responsible way
  • Salvage any parts that can be re-used
  • Recycle the remaining parts of your vehicle into a multitude of other items.

Check out the Responsible Recycling page on the Retire Your Ride website for more in-depth details about the car recycling process.

Recycle your car
Image credit: 

Ready to retire your ride? I know, it’s hard to say goodbye. But all you have to do is fill out the Retire Your Ride form to get started.

What’s the longest you’ve ever driven one vehicle for? Have you ever recycled your ride? Share your stories in the comments.

- Rose R.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Thanks for this resource!

Our vehicle is a 2007. We bought it used in 2008 with 60,000kms (which I imagine means it was on the road since 2006). Its given us almost zero issues and we have done lots of regular maintenance through the years.

It's now almost 9-years old and has over 205,000kms and we are thinking its almost time... maybe in another year or two :)

The comments to this entry are closed.