Every month, up to 1,000 cars pass through Kheng Keng Auto scrapyard in Sungei Kadut.
At the 1.2ha compound, cars that have been deregistered are pared down to their component parts. What can be recycled, reused and resold are then removed. The rest of the car is disposed of.
Kheng Keng Auto is one of four official scrapyards appointed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
Under the law, a deregistered vehicle has to be sent to the scrapyard or shipped out of Singapore within a month.
"There are three basic rules here: reduce waste, reuse and recycle," said Mr Cher Kwang Siong, the scrapyard's managing director.
By weight, only about 5 per cent of a car is trashed. This mostly comprises glass and fabric.
"What parts can be resold depends on the make and model of the car, but components like the engine are definitely re-exported," said Mr Cher, adding that they are sent across the border to Malaysia.
Waste oil is drained and sold to licensed waste-oil recyclers.
Meanwhile, in an open yard, a crane makes quick work of car bodies. It takes less than two minutes for it to pound and flatten the body of an old Nissan Sunny before it is placed neatly in a pile. They are then sent to metal mills to be recycled.
In the warehouse, plastic from parts like the car dashboard is crushed in a compactor and recycled, said Mr Cher.
"In many places overseas, cars have a lifespan longer than 10 years. The parts that we send abroad can have a second life in places like Africa and Latin America," he said.