The loop

  • Autorecycling

    Below you will find detailed information about the individual stages of the cycle.


For years, Switzerland produced no new vehicles. The new cars arrive via the official importers or import in the Switzerland. About 300'000 passenger cars, 25'000 ligth and 4'000 heavy commercial vehicle are importet annually. The official importers are joined together in the Association of auto-schweiz.


New cars must be recycled in Europe and Switzerland to 95 percent today. The design and production of such a complex consumer is a big challenge. -as well as its recycling. Today, vehicles are considered rolling stocks of raw materials.

Steel mill

The metal scraps are valuable secondary raw materials from which the steelworks and smelters again supply the raw materials for new products. The shredder works process by far not only vehicles, but also other, metal-bearing wastes. Include the scrap metal collections, the so-called white goods (washing machines, cookers) and other scrap metals that need to be crushed before the meltdown.

The proportion of end of life vehicles is only 20 to 30 percent. The non-metallic residue left as waste. These must be disposed of as Shredder light fraction (ASR).


Great Mills (Shredder) with up to 2 meters in diameter, as well as drive power from 800 to 3'000 HP hack a vehicle body in 20 seconds into Fist-size pieces. The proportion of end-of-life vehicles to the total input is only 20 to 30 percent. The shredder works process by far not only vehicles, but also other, metal-bearing wastes. The scrap metal collections include, the so-called white goods (washing machines, cookers), scrap and other scrap metals that need to be crushed before the meltdown.

The shredder plant recovers iron and steel, so-called Shredder scrap, non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper and sold these precious secondary raw materials at steel mills and foundries.

The non-metallic residue left as waste: Shredder heavy fraction (rubber, plastics) and shredder light fraction (called also RESH). According to the regulation on the transport of waste, RESH is a hazardous waste with the Code 19 10 03. By around 80'000 and 100'000 tonnes of scrap cars left annually 20'000 tons of car RESH in the Swiss Shredder works. These are about 20 percent of the weight of the vehicle. The annual amount of RESH is about 50'000 until 60'000 tons. RESH consists mainly of plastics (60%), glass/sand (15%), textiles/leather/wood (10%), as well as paint dust/rust (10%) and metals (5%).

Car dismentler

After the car was used extensively on average over 16 years and is now economically no longer viable, specialized car recyclers prepare the car, dry and remove usable parts. Tires, batteries and various liquids be recycled. Usable parts, which can still be used in the future, be examined and used as spare parts in the sale. Interested parties can purchase them directly from the recyclers. The most car dismentlers manage large stock and sell parts over the Internet.

In Switzerland, around 100'000 end of life vehicles and salvage cars are recycled. The pre-treatment is necessary for the subsequent treatment in the shredder plant. For a more efficient transport, slaughtered bodies are pressed flat. There is no longer the scrap packages known from earlier.

New cars are assembled from over 10'000 parts. Very different materials in diverse composition are used. The choice of material depends on like the suitability of technical, physical and chemical properties, weight, cost, and design.


Often, the car represents the second highest item of expenditure of a household after the living. For many, the purchase and possession of own vehicle with emotions are connected. The car is maintained and serviced. The management and maintenance cause waste that are used today for the most part. Of the whole energy, used for material supply, production, operation and disposal up to 80 percent accounted for by the operating phases (fuel, maintenance, spare parts).

Car trade

The Swiss auto industry comprises 5'200 garage operations. Are 4'000 in the Motor Trade Association of Switzerland (AGVS) with around 37'500 employees organized. The auto trade has over 800'000 of changes in ownership, so the change of ownership of new and used vehicles. The entire Swiss automotive industry implemented 90 billion Swiss francs in the year 2014.