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Aluminum recycling is one of the most efficient forms of recycling, because recycling aluminum takes about 95 percent less energy than creating aluminum materials from virgin materials.

Some Aluminum Facts:

  • Over 50% of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
  • A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That's closed loop recycling at its finest!
  • Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal: 2/3 of the aluminum ever produced is in use today.
  • Every minute of everyday, an average of 113,204 aluminum cans are recycled.
  • Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy and 20 recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
  • Last year 54 billion cans were recycled saving energy equivalent to 15 million barrels of crude oil - America's entire gas consumption for one day.
  • Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline.
  • In 1972, 24,000 metric tons of aluminum used beverage containers (UBCs) were recycled. In 1998, the amount increased to over 879,000 metric tons.
  • In 1972, it took about 22 empty, aluminum cans to weigh one pound. Due to advanced technology to use less material and increase durability of aluminum cans, in 2002 it takes about 34 empty aluminum cans to weigh one pound.
  • The average employee consumes 2.5 beverages a day while at work.
  • The empty aluminum can is worth about 1 cent.

Source: earth911 (link in the right column)

By recycling your aluminum you are helping to reduce the demand for virgin materials, you are "closing the loop," and saving energy.

Most municipalities have curbside aluminum collection for the materials below. If your municipality does not recycle aluminum products curb side, there is often a recycling center than can take your aluminum.

Aluminum products should be clean and free of contaminants, such as paint and other liquids. Most pie containers and aluminum foil is included in curbside collection, when clean, but check with your local recycler for more details.

Examples: aluminum cans, aluminum siding, baking tins, cans, curtain rods, foil, pie pans, spray cans, tin coated cans, steel cans

  • Contact for this Page
  • Division of Materials Management
    Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7253
    Send us an email
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