Aluminum is everywhere. We see it in soft drink cans, beer cans, pie plates, foil, packaging, gutters, aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, computers, cookware, siding, wire and more. Aluminum is practically the perfect recyclable material. Out of the most common recyclable materials that clutter up our landfills—glass, paper, metals, cardboard, plastics—aluminum is the only material that’s 100 % endlessly recyclable, and that pays for itself.
Pros of Aluminum Recycling
• A simple process that involves re-melting the metal for re-use after its initial production,
which requires only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminum.
• Aluminum’s composition makes it one of the few infinitely recyclable materials used in
society; it can be recycled endlessly, with no loss in quality.
• Approximately 31% of all aluminum produced in the United States comes from recycled
scrap and 75% of all aluminum produced since 1888 is still in use today!
• There’s no downside to recycling aluminum: it’s fast (a 2 month turn-around!), it pays for
itself, and it’s great for the environment.
So next time you get ready to throw out that aluminum foil you wrapped your sandwich in at work or at school, think again—that same aluminum foil could save enough energy to run a big appliance like a TV for three hours, and pay for its own recycling costs in the process. Recycle it and you’ll be doing the planet a lot of good with very little effort.
“Recycling is a good thing to do. It makes people feel good to do it. The thing I want to emphasize is the vast difference between recycling for the purpose of feeling good and recycling for the purpose of solving the trash problem.”
— Barry Commoner, “Orion Nature Quarterly”