Once upon a time, someone stepped into the red sedan and felt pride when its engine turned for the first time. Now, no longer. After likely tens of thousands of miles and many undesired repairs, the car was just another offering last week to the mega shredder of Jersey City. Plucked by a material handler from a mountain of graying scrap, the vehicle was placed on a conveyor belt. It inched forward with the rest of the gnarled metal until, several stories up, it slid down into the mega shredder’s gully. Here, out of sight, an array of 1,100-pound hammers, turned by a 100-ton rotor, greeted it. Such is the end for hundreds of vehicles each day at Claremont Terminal, and for countless other things of metal, from refrigerators to rebar. The yard’s mega shredder can consume about 4,000 tons of assorted scrap a day, officials here say. But the goal isn’t simply to grind obsolete everyday objects into unrecognizable clumps. Rather, the aim is to feed something with a bigger appetite than a mega-shredder: the global commodities market. Officials with Sims Metal Management, which owns Claremont Terminal and about 270 other scrap yards across the globe, proudly refer to their business as ...