Aluminum is one of the most useful metal materials we have available to us. It has many beneficial properties such as being easy to shape, inexpensive to produce, and perhaps above all, being extremely efficient to recycle.
Recycling aluminium uses only around 5% of the energy needed to produce the material from its raw products and during the recycling process, aluminium does not lose any of its properties and so it can be recycled infinitely whilst maintaining its integrity.
Therefore, it would be a crying shame if we were to continue producing aluminium from raw materials when that would require 20x more energy and emissions than from recycling – especially since the end product is equal in properties.
How are Aluminium Cans Recycled?
If we were to simplify it, the recycling process can be separated into three stages:
- Stage 1 – Used aluminium cans are cleaned and shredded, removing any coloured coating on them
- Stage 2 – The shreddings are then melted in a large furnace
- Stage 3 – The melted metal is then poured into casts and left to set. Each cast is then used to make around 1.5 million cans
The Efficiency of Aluminium Can Recycling
Aluminium is the most cost-effective material to recycle since it saves 95% on energy savings in the production vs recycling process. As such, around 75% of all aluminium produced is still in circulation now.
For every 1kg of aluminium recycled instead of produced (from raw materials) we save:
- 6kg of Bauxite (the sedimentary rock from which aluminium is extracted)
- 4kg of various chemical products
- 14kWh of electricity
The sheer amount of savings on raw materials, energy, and emissions from recycling aluminium cans rather than producing new cans speak for themselves.
So, What’s The Problem?
The issue with recycling aluminium cans is a problem which all recyclable materials have… it’s down to us, as individuals and businesses, to actually ensure we are playing our part in the recycling process in order to realise these environmental benefits.
As a business owner, you may not be able to confidently say that you successfully recycle all of the aluminium cans your business throws away. Therefore, you should follow some quick tips to improve your chances of boosting your recycling rates:
- Tip 1 – Make sure your waste collector has environmental disposal policies and will transfer your cans to a recycling facility
- Tip 2 – Get a dedicated aluminium can recycling bin so that you do not accidentally send your cans to landfill in your general waste bin
- Tip 3 – Make sure your employees are aware of your recycling efforts and are onboard with separating your cans from your general waste
If you have these foundations in place, then your business should be more successful in recycling its aluminium cans and, therefore, your business will be playing its part for the environment.
If you need a waste collector who is dedicated to saving the environment and saving your business money on the best collection and recycling rates for aluminium cans (and a variety of other waste types) then fill out the quick and easy quote form below for a free quote.