Aluminum isn’t something that many of think about in terms of recycling. However, we need to change that mindset. Sure, it is a very abundant resource out there but at the rate we use it up the amount may not last as long as we are thinking that it will. About half of all aluminum cans for food and other items are recycled.
Yet there is plenty of room for that amount to substantially increase. With so many places to take aluminum to donate as scrap there is no reason at all to toss it out. There are very few communities out there that don’t have any type of location to take aluminum. Some of them only take cans and others take all items.
Before you toss another tin can in the trash you need to remember this fact. Just one aluminum can that is recycled can save enough energy to keep a 100 watt light bulb burning for about 4 hours. The fact that the average household uses thousands of cans made from aluminum annually means that you can create plenty of energy for all of your electronic device use.
It isn’t just cans though that people can recycle and that is very important. For example aluminum foil can definitely be tossed into that category. Even some lawn furniture can fall into that category too due to the frames being made out of metal. Even old gutters from your home can be recycled. If you have any forms of scrap aluminum then by all means you need to be recycling them. They can take up a ton of room in the landfill and that isn’t necessary.
All aluminum is considered residue and it is condensed into slabs that are crushed and shredded. This removes all of the paint on the aluminum and any labels. The mixture is about 50% recycled materials and then 50% new materials to create the items. The melted down aluminum can be placed into molds of any shape and size to create them. The molds are designed to fit the needs of the companies that need them to place their products into.
The process of recycling aluminum can cut down on a significant amount of natural resources being used up. For example in 2007 the 54 billion cans that were recycled helped to reduce the consumption of 15 million barrels of crude oil. Since we are already too dependent on oil this is a huge benefit from aluminum recycling. This can also reduce the cost of canned products too and that is a nice benefit to consumers.
This type of material can be recycled quite a few times before it can’t be used any more due to quality. The fact that people get paid to turn in aluminum also helps this to be a common recycling benefit. The pay out each year is close to $800 million to individuals and to various organizations.
The process of recycling aluminum cans for the food industry is very common. In fact, many factories rely on this process to help them cut down production costs. It is estimated that within 60 days of an aluminum can being placed for recycling it can be processed, filled with new food, and back on the shelf in a grocery store.
The process is extremely fast thanks to the technology that we have today. It is estimated that about 113,000 aluminum cans are recycled every single minute. The best part is that it only takes about 5% of the energy to make new aluminum cans. One pound of aluminum cans is equal to 34 empty cans.