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I am wondering what people’s thoughts are on junkyards? I went to one a few days ago for first time and loved it. Just to walk around and see all the potential there. There were so many cars. It was sad to see them in that condition but It felt so good when I found what I was looking for. It seems to me that if someone wanted to know about cars, then they could get enough parts to get a car running from a junkyard. I also liked that the one I went in had a wide range of cars from very old cars to current looking models.

I used to like it but I’m scared of mice and snakes now, plus they don’t often let you just walk around.

It’s fun, but be very careful. There can be wildlife hiding in the vehicles as well as poorly stacked car carcasses and sharp things. I suggest good high-top work boots (I used to wear my old combat boots) and thick leather work gloves as a minimum.

Fun like a free museum. Any of my cars I sold to the junkyard I am not sure I would want back for the $150.

A lot of junkyards have disappeared over the last few decades. I suspect that EPA regs have a lot to do with it.

There is not one salvage in my immediate area anymore. Every one of them has shut down. The closest two are 45 and 65 miles away respectively.
The next closest is 75 and after that close to a 100.

“A lot of junkyards have disappeared over the last few decades. I suspect that EPA regs have a lot to do with it.”

I hate to hear that!
I live in a very rural area where laws and regulations often don’t arrive, arrive late, and/or are not paid much attention.

I have to drive 20 miles to get to a store, but only 10 to get to a great salvage yard (for cars at least a few model-years old). It is thriving! I can’t figure out where all those cars and scrap metal comes from, but they almost can’t crush and process fast enough, with quite a few employees.

The cars flow in, sit there a while and get picked over for parts at very low prices, then get crushed and shipped with more cars taking their place. They buy scrap too, that people bring by the pick-up load. The yard owns a crusher, loader, semi-truck, and recently added an expensive drive-on scale for semi-trucks.

I imagine that the owner laughs all the way to the bank. I think he is managing a gold mine. More power to him! He does a great service to DIY’ers and I like to see the recycling effort.

I’m glad the junk yards that are disappearing due to the EPA. A junk yard a few towns over from me has polluted a few dozen wells because they were not following regulations. I hope it costs them too much money to stay in business. The other junk yards are good citizens and comply.

That’s true, csa, and insurance companies probably have a lot to do with the reason there aren’t many yards in my area anymore that will allow the customer to roam the yard.

Mike, would you prefer that junk cars are just left by the side of the road? I’m pretty sure you don’t mean it the way it sounds to me.

I suspect Mike would prefer a more comprehensive recycling program.
Currently the EPA requires that all the fluids be drained and the battery removed, all for recycling. There’s a company in Merrimack that makes a machine/system just for junkyards. It punctures and drains all of the automotive fluids, putting them into separate tanks specifically to be shipped for recycling. It uses brass cutting/puncturing heads to prevent sparks. I seem to recall them telling me they were the only ones in the country making these. The hollow carcasses in the junkyard piles waiting to be picked over before crushing are just metal and seats.

At least that’s what the EPA mandates. I’m sure there are numerous yards across the country that don’t fully comply… especially in the Midwest and the plains states, where the population of law enforcement agents to each square mile is often much less than optimum. There’s a lot of wide open spaces out there.

I used to enjoy rummaging through junk yards. But everything good gets stripped out and inventoried today before the vehicle hits the pile anyway. Boneyards are far, far, far more sophisticated than they used to be. Of course, the costs reflect that. In the old days you could ask “how much for this” and get a price pulled out of the air, generally pennies on the dollar. Today if you ask the question they head to their computer for a cost determined based upon a new part price, availability, and discounted for age and condition. That takes a lot of the fun out.

the junkyard I occasionally visit is definitely NOT in compliance

They remove catalytic converters, fuel and batteries before putting the car in the yard, but that’s it

They don’t drain engine oil, atf, gear oil, not even refrigerant

If yards are forced to close because of EPA edicts then maybe farmland should be closed also.

The groundwater all around here is contaminated with Nitrates with many wells (including mine) are not potable due to Nitrates. Let the EPA shut down farmland to keep it fair…

I thought groundwater contaminated was due to hydraulic fracturing


It may happen in some instances but not as much as people are led to believe. When wrestling with the water supply situation here some years ago a number of test wells were drilled for miles around. Keep in mind that oil and gas drilling is very heavy here.

Not one test well showed signs of oilfield contamination. What they did show was non-potability due to high Nitrate levels and excessive solid particulants.
I was on the city council at the time and had several conversations with the rep from the OK water association and he told me this problem was widespread clean up into KS and the outer reaches of the OK Panhandle.

If you’ve heard about massive algae growth and Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico and so on then Nitrate runoff from OK and other states is the cause.

now what about earthquakes in Oklahoma

Are you going to say it’s all media BS . . . ?

0% correlation between increased hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes?

I don’t remember hearing about too many earthquakes in Oklahoma in the 80s and 90s . . . maybe it was just as bad, but simply not being reported?

uh huh


Personally I believe a lot of this pollution could be cleared up with a simple law, if you sell it, you recycle it. Allow for deposits to be collected and maybe a controlled recycling fee. For cars, the first owner would put down a deposit of say $1000 or so. After that, the car would always be worth at least that much at a recycling center, minus the tow fee.

The recycling centers should have a containment area where ALL fluids are drained and sent for recycling, then the vehicle stripped for usable parts, the rest melted down for new products.

Mike, would you prefer that junk cars are just left by the side of the road? I'm pretty sure you don't mean it the way it sounds to me

Re-read my posts…and try to comprehend what I said.

I said NOTHING about junk yards not existing. I think they have a good function. What I have a problem with is them needlessly polluting ground water and land. Are you saying that junk yards should be exempt from any pollution laws? That they can’t exist unless they’re allowed to dump thousands of gallons of oil and gas into the ground water? Other salvage/junk yards comply.

If vehicle manufactures had to buy back and recycle their vehicles there wouldn’t be any used parts available to the public.

Mike, I think you and I are pretty much in agreement. You must have been composing your post when I posted my last post so maybe you are just reading it now.

Keith - agreed.