What To Do With Old Brake Rotors: Can I Recycle Them?

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No, it is not time to throw away old brake rotors. Even if you choose to get rid of them, you’ll need to find the right method to dispose of them. There’s a lot you can do to reuse and recycle them. A little repair here and there may be all that you need to get the rotors back to work.

So, if you ask me if old brake rotors can be recycled, my immediate and quick response will be yes. I understand weak brake rotors frequently bring up issues as they age and become thinner, but there are ways they can be disposed of for the purpose of recycling and reuse.

This way, they don’t become eco-nuisance or constitute environmental hazards.

So, what should I do with my old rugged brake rotors? Just before answering the question, don’t forget that brake rotors are a part of your vehicle braking system that plays a major role. They are produced from iron and metal materials; some come from aluminum.

Essentially, handling them poses no potential danger. Except for the ones that are a product of carbon ceramics, rotors generally by their material design, are recyclable. You’ll find these ceramic-made rotors mostly on luxurious sports cars.

Because they’re pure metal parts, rotors are a great asset to those scrap metal people. If you leave your old rotors on the curb, these guys will park them.

How Should I Recycle My Old Rotors?

To recycle old rotors, you’ll need to take them to the recycling sites. In some cities, it is much easier to get to metal dealers. You can use the available sites or put a call through.

In situations where you can’t access these, it might be best to make enquiries around or source information from auto repair shops.

Here are ways to recycle your old rotors:

1. Use Local Garbage Transfer Stations

Off the top of most people’s head, the local garbage transfer stations come first when they’re considering tossing their old brake rotors or generally wanting to empty their jam-packed.

The recycling centers, as otherwise called, serve a useful purpose when you want to get rid of the used and old metal scraps in your garage. The first thing to do is to locate the nearest bin to your residence.

Put a call through to the center to know what type of garbage they take. If the response is in the affirmative, you can begin to load the truck. Before you start loading the items into the truck, lay bedding where the rotors will firmly remain to avoid damage to your car. Some flattened cardboard boxes will do the magic.

2. Make Use Of Craigslist Or Online Help

Making use of Craigslist or online help is a way of getting your brake rotors off your home. Understandably, this method is usually stressful, especially having to take it by yourself from your house.

In such situations, you can hire the services of Craigslist. There are ways you can reach out to the Craigslist team. The team is always on hand.

Alternatively, scavengers who go about collecting unwanted metal materials from their homes could help. However, if you cannot get a Craigslist or any other agency with such services, local metal dealers are available.

It is advisable to weigh your rotors to determine the price range you could take from giving them out. To get as much as you wish, invite as many metal dealers as you can find to negotiate prices. Also, find out from them if they are ready to take what you are giving out.

3. Dump In Junkyard In Exchange For Money

You may not get a lot of flak if you simply throw away your old brake rotors in the bin. You won’t receive any goodwill, either.

The best option for disposing of your old rugged brake rotors is to bring them to the junkyard. Junkyards are set up primarily for recycling scrap metal. Besides, the environment is better for it.

Rather than lying in a landfill for years, polluting the ecosystem, the rotors can fetch you a few dollars. So, instead of throwing them away, you can carry them to a scrapyard and get money in exchange.

However, the monetary value you’ll get will depend on the original cost of the item as well as its weight.

The time of the year you’re bringing the rotors out is also a huge factor in the price you’ll be selling them.

Also, consider the industry needs, the location of the scrapyard, and the quality of the material as responsible for how much dollar value you get in exchange for the old brake rotors.

How do you get in touch with a junkyard? It’s pretty simple. To get connected to any scrapyard in your residence, you can easily search online. Make enquiries within the city or contact the waste management office available near you.

If you succeeded in getting one – and you should anyways-, read their policies and terms and conditions.

Some scrapyards have a cap on the quality and quantity of the materials they take. If your old brake rotors fit in, you’re good to go. Else, you may consider another junkyard.

Meanwhile, it’s important that calculate the weight of the brake rotors. This is because the people at the scrapyard use scales to weigh metals, and the weight determines the value.

If the rotors have grown and aged very thin, you won’t get a good deal, trust me. They will simply check the net weight and gross weight of the car to know how much your old rotors weigh.

Needless to say, some scrapyards will require you to provide your personal details, such as your ID. Some scrapyards rely on electronic check-in via email rather than physical checking to complete a transaction of the metal.

How Can I Make My Brake Rotors Reusable?

Brake rotors were once durable and thick. Durability and thickness make rotors quite useful for long-term use on vehicles. However, they’re no longer what they used to be, as they’ve thinned out, worn down, and are less durable.

Resurfacing weak rotors is often not advised, especially when you’re changing the brake pads or calipers. What is best is to replace both the pads and rotors at the same time.

This is why replaced rotors have to be recycled for making other materials, either for domestic or industrial use.

What Can Old Brake Rotors Be Use For?

Really, it depends on the condition of the brake rotors. If they’re in good shape, not rusted or corroded, the rotors can still be used for a few things.

For instance, some companies use to make dumbells, grinder stands, windchime, or boat anchors. Alternatively, averagely used rotors can serve as weights for tractor wheels; they can also be recycled into a wall clock or sculpture base.

For those making floor lamp bases, rotors are a great raw material.

When Should Brake Rotors Be Discarded?

A lot goes into choosing the right time to replace or discard your old brake rotors.

Typically, brake rotors are designed to be thick and of quality density. However, the thinner they go as they age, the weaker they become and unable to provide the needed contact with the brake pads.

Meanwhile, the recommended rotor thickness varies from model to model and from brand to brand.

The minimum recommended thickness for brake rotors is 1.7mm or 0.07” while the maximum thickness stands at 10 mm or 0.04”.

You can get this value by measuring the exterior circumference of the brake rotor after every 1/8 of a rotation. This is equal to 45o.

Once you find out that the rotors have reached their minimum thickness threshold, it’s time to replace them.

Alternatively, the mileage of the rotors also matters in determining when to replace and discard them. On average, many vehicle parts manufacturers and professionals in the auto industry often recommend that rotors that have run somewhere between 30, 000 and 70, 000-mile mark are due for replacement.

Final Thoughts

So far so good, I think you have a deep insight into what to do with old brake rotors. The point is that old rotors have a lot of benefits for the industry.

As renewable materials, brake rotors are useful for a wide range of things. They not only serve as raw materials for many manufacturing companies; rotors are also a source of income for car owners and scrap metal sellers.

Interestingly, since they have no health implications on the environment and human beings, rotors are highly recommended for reuse and recycling.

This way, you can reduce the level of refuse or garbage that piles up in your garage. Emptying the rotors and other garage-crowded scraps will help to create a lot of employment opportunities for people who depend on recycling old materials for new things.

Additionally, making these items available at these centers gives room for creativity for many people who have an interest in reusing and recycling old, used items.