Changing image of junkyards | The Sacramento Bee

The auto recycling business has embraced technology, and it could save you some dough if you are a bargain hunter or the do-it-yourself type.

That’s the message automobile recyclers are promoting as they cope with a changing industry.

For instance, no longer is junkyard the preferred term for lots where auto recyclers store their acres of busted-up cars. They are called simply “yards.”

And shade tree or bootleg mechanics who work on cars in the backyard in their spare time are just a fraction of the customer base for many yards, which sell primarily to other businesses and insurers.

Auto parts recycling is a $32 billion-a-year industry based on sales, according to Manassas-based Automotive Recyclers Association, a national association representing auto recyclers.

An estimated 11.5 million to 14 million vehicles are recycled every year in the U.S., the Automotive Recyclers Association notes. In Virginia, there are 492 active salvage dealer licenses, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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