A question we get often is, “Can you recycle aluminum?” The short answer is yes; aluminum is 100% recyclable! This article will outline common aluminum products you can recycle, how it’s recycled, the benefits of recycling, recycling facts, and tips to recycle your aluminum cans. Let’s dive in!
What aluminum products should I recycle?
You can recycle many aluminum products and make the world a better place. These include things such as:
- Scrap aluminum
- Pie pans
- Ink printer cartridges
To see a full list of things you can recycle, check out Recycle A to Z.
How is aluminum recycled?
To start, aluminum cans are separated from the other recycled items. Next, the cans are cleaned and crushed down into large bricks. Then the blocks head to a furnace, where they are heated up. Here they will create molten aluminum. From there, they are made from molten slabs or larger blocks. Then finally, they are sent off to mills for rolling and repurposing for new products.
Benefits of Recycling Aluminum
There are many benefits to recycling aluminum. The first is that it uses significantly less energy than producing aluminum from raw materials. Also, it saves about 97% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to producing aluminum new. It is 100% recyclable forever! So this means we save carbon every time we recycle aluminum.
There are many facts about recycling aluminum. They include:
- Only about 65% of aluminum is currently recycled.
- In 60 seconds, on average, 123,097 cans are recycled.
- Americans tend to recycle two out of every three cans they use.
- The average aluminum can contains 50% of recycled aluminum.
- Last year it was approximated that 36 billion aluminum cans ended up in landfills.
Tips for Recycling Your Aluminum Cans
You can start by rinsing and drying your cans. This is recommended because residue can attract insects when you don’t rinse and dry them.
Next, make sure to crush your cans. This is so you can save space when putting them in the recycling. So you can fit twice as much in there when you crush your cans.
Lastly, don’t use your cans for other purposes. This is because using other purposes can contaminate your cans and can’t be recycled.
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