All auto recyclers know how valuable recycling of old catalytic converters can be. Despite this, some cats end up in a bin or crushed into scrap, still attached to the car. This appears to be a real waste of cash-earning potential.

Every catalytic converter contains platinum, palladium and rhodium, precious metals used to reduce exhaust emissions. In one tonne of catalytic converters, there is approximately one kg of precious metals. The automotive recycling industry is by far the largest source of these metals for the manufacture of new catalysts.

Once recycled, a catalytic converter becomes a commodity. De-canning cats and selling the metals inside as a commodity represents a new income for recyclers. This service was not available until fairly recently. Since the early 2000’s, raw materials markets have been booming and it has become more profitable to recover precious metals from catalytic converters - to the point where it is not unusual to hear stories of thieves stealing cats from new cars to sell them as scrap!

Even if commodity markets have plummeted since 2008, they are now recovering with, over the last few months, for example, platinum and palladium overtaking gold and silver prices.

So, on second thoughts, don’t throw away your scrap cats!