Does AutoZone Recycle Brake Rotors & Pads? (Know It Now!)

recycle brake rotors autozone

Even though brake rotors are not replaced as often as brake pads, they eventually wear out.

Does AutoZone Recycle Brake Rotors?

AutoZone does not recycle brake rotors because they neither contain toxic fluids/elements nor have a substantial core price. So, it does not make economic sense for AutoZone to recycle brake rotors as they do with other items such as car batteries, motor oil, engines, brake calipers, alternators, starters, and transmissions.

In fact, the cost of storing and handling big volumes of worn-out brake rotors is more than the money the company will get after recycling them. Therefore, manufacturing brand-new brake rotors are more cost-efficient than recycling old ones.

Can’t I Just Return Used Old Brake Rotors to AutoZone?

AutoZone does not allow buyers to return brake rotors because they do not have any core value. Rotors only have value for scrap metal, and you need many to make a significant amount of money. It is because brake rotors are made from gray iron, which is not very valuable as scrap metal.

Additionally, items must be in their original condition and packaging, with receipts, and within 90 days of the initial purchase date to return to an AutoZone store. If a product is defective, you should ensure that you return it within its warranty period.

However, AutoZone will likely deny your return request if the brake rotors have been used or installed in your vehicle. AutoZone will only accept your return request if the brake rotors break down within the warranty period.

In such a scenario, the store will offer you a full refund or replacement, depending on your preference. If you purchased the brake rotors with cash, you would receive the refund on the same day of the return.

On the other hand, if you paid for the brake rotors using a credit card, you will receive your refund within 2-3 days.

What Do I Do with My Old Brake Rotors?

Brake rotors are fully recyclable. However, you cannot toss them in a regular recycle bin without checking with your local waste management company. Even though brake rotors do not contain hazardous elements or fluids, their weight and size can easily damage the equipment and machinery used to sort through household recycling.

Also, brake rotors are fully recyclable because they are made of cast iron and other recyclable materials such as aluminum and steel. The only brake rotors you cannot fully recycle are made of carbon ceramic, and they are only found in high-end sports cars such as Porsche and Ferrari.

With that being said, the following are the various places you can take your old brake rotors:

Dispose of Old Brake Rotors To Scrapyard

One of the best ways to dispose of your old brake rotors is by taking them to a scrapyard/junkyard. These places are for the sole purpose of recycling scrap metals like old brake rotors.

Not only is this action good for the environment, but it can also be a simple way for you to make a few extra bucks. The money you will get for your old rotors usually depends on their weight and how much the local scrapyard pays for scrap metal.

The following are the various factors that determine how much a scrapyard offers for scrap metal:

  • The location of the scrapyard
  • Time of the year
  • The current market value of the metal
  • The industry demand
  • The quantity of scrap metal they deal in

If you take your old rotors to the scrapyard, ensure that you follow these steps:

  • Locate the scrapyard. If you do not reside near a scrapyard, you can always search online, contact the local waste management company or simply make inquiries in your area.
  • Contact the scrapyard. Various scrap yards may require your personal details, including your ID. This move is intended to curb theft.
  • Read the scrapyard’s terms and conditions. Some scrapyards limit the quantity and quality of old brake rotors they take. If your old brake rotors fit the description, you can take them to the scrapyard. But if they do not fit the description, you can always check with another junkyard.
  • Determine the weight of your old rotors. The people at scrapyards use standing scales to weigh scrap metals and determine their value. Regular brake rotors weigh between 15 to 40 pounds, and the ones found in bigger vehicles tend to be heavier. Therefore, if your brake rotors have grown thin over time, you will not get a good deal. The main reason for weighing your old brake rotors is to ensure that the trip to the scrapyard is worth it to you. You can expect to earn around $2 per rotor.

Recycling center

Consider your local recycling center or garbage transfer station if you plan to get rid of your old brake rotors. Follow these steps to complete the process:

  • Locate the local recycling center or garbage transfer station by asking neighbors or contacting your town hall for more details.
  • Contact the recycling center to learn what type of items they take and whether they will accept your old brake rotors. If they confirm that they will take your old brake rotors, you can load the truck.
  • Lay down flattened cardboard boxes or bedding before loading the old brake rotors to prevent damage to your truck. Take your old rotors to the recycling center.
  • Check with an employee before unloading the rotors. This is because putting old rotors in the wrong bin can easily damage the sorting machines.


If you do not want to go through the trouble transporting your old brake rotors to a recycling center or scrapyard, find someone on craigslist to take them.

Many supplement their income by collecting scrap metal and reselling it on Craigslist. Even though you may not make money using this option, it is easier and more convenient than driving miles in search of a scrapyard or recycling center.

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