Scrap steel is selling for about $150 to $160 per ton, which means an SUV like the Ford Explorer is worth roughly $300-$400.
Then there is the value of the parts. By law, the clunkers’ engines have to be killed, but recyclers can make a good deal of money from other parts. Everything from transmissions ($100-$400 depending on mileage) to dent-free doors ($200 apiece) to aluminum wheels ($13 a pop) can bring in revenue.
In the meantime, recycling just one ton of steel conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone, according to the Steel Recycling Institute.
Clunkers Recycling Boosts Scrap Business (Detroit Free Press)