Recycling is important. Not only does it give materials new life, but it helps our communities and the planet. Clean, well-sorted material such as aluminum, plastic bottles, cardboard, and paper is still recyclable even though markets for some recycled materials were upended in 2017 when China, as part of an anti-pollution crackdown, announced it would stop importing most used plastic and paper. Read more about the current state of the recycling industry.
Aluminum is infinitely recyclable – it can be made into new products again and again.
What can be recycled?
Aluminum beverage cans, pet food cans, aerosol cans and foil. Check your local guidelines, but generally cans should be recycled intact (with tabs on and not crushed).
How to recycle it
Look for curbside, school, work, or public space recycling bins, or bring aluminum to local recycling drop-off or buy-back centers.
Share the word
Recycle Colorado invites you to download and share this infographic. The more we get aluminum in the bin, the more we all win!
Aluminum Recycling Facts
- Aluminum cans have an average of 68% recycled content.
- A can’s journey from the recycling bin back to store shelves takes less than 60 days.
- Virtually all of the aluminum used in cars, buildings, airplanes and similar industrial products includes recycled material.
- Americans landfill enough landfill to rebuild the entire commercial airline fleet every three months.
- More than 75 percent of the aluminum ever made is still in use today because it can be recycled over and over again.
- Recycling aluminum:
- Creates jobs
- Saves energy
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Keeps valuable aluminum out of landfills
- Increases the efficiency of aluminum production
- When aluminum is recycled, it is crushed and cut into chips that are fed into a furnace to remove paint and coatings. The chips are then melted and formed into blocks. The aluminum blocks are rolled into sheets which are sent to manufacturers to make new cans. One of these blocks contains enough aluminum to make 1.3 million new cans. The aluminum industry relies on the collection of used beverage containers and other fabricated aluminum to meet the demand for new aluminum products.
Video “The Most Sustainable Package”: https://vimeo.com/173072696
The Aluminum Association: https://www.aluminum.org/advocacy/top-issues/aluminum-recycling