The Aluminum Can Recycling Process

Recycled aluminum cans squashed into a brick and being moved by a fork lift in an east Tennessee scrap yard

The Aluminum Can Recycling Process

Aluminum is an amazingly versatile material. Aluminum is almost 100% recyclable and appears in many goods including furniture and appliances. Aluminum also holds up well during the aluminum recycling process, so it can be continuously recycled. Nearly two-thirds of the aluminum ever created is still in use as aluminum. Another fun fact about aluminum can recycling is that if you used all the aluminum scrap processed in the US in a year and used it only to make recycled aluminum cans, the lined-up cans would stretch from Earth all the way to Venus.

Americans use a vast 131 Billion cans per year in the US. Unfortunately, every year almost 40 billion aluminum cans end up in landfills. Throwing aluminum cans into the trash is not only a tremendous waste of metal but is akin to throwing away $800 million every single year. For those of you curious as to how the aluminum can recycling process works, here are is the aluminum can recycle loop.

How Used Cans End Up as New Cans

The aluminum can recycle process is a spectacular one and, in many cases, a used aluminum can end up back on the shelves of your local grocery store as soon as 60 days. Here’s a quick view of how the aluminum cans you sell to a scrap dealer end up as another can once again.

Step 1: Consumers like you bring in aluminum cans to a scrap dealer or recycling center.

Step 2: Cans are then sorted and inspected early on to ensure that the aluminum cans don’t become contaminated with other types of materials. Sorting may include using a magnet to lift out any metals that aren’t aluminum.

Step 3: Aluminum cans are crushed by a hydraulic press and made into large bales that weigh in at around 1000 lbs.

Step 4: Aluminum bales are then shipped to a smelter which operates a specialized facility to apply heat to ores to extract the base metal out.

Step 5: The aluminum is then shredded, washed, and turned into smaller aluminum chips.

Step 6: to be melted down and used to make large sheets of flat aluminum.

Step 7: The large rolls of aluminum sheets are then sent back to a can factory to create new cans from the recycled aluminum.

Step 8: Your recycled aluminum is then filled at a bottling plant and sent out to stores to begin the aluminum can recycling process all over again.

Reasons to Recycle Every Can You Use

Reasons for recycling your aluminum cans are numerous. Not only are helping to reduce waste sent to landfills, but you can make cold hard cash for your otherwise unusable refuse. Because of the energy demand to create new aluminum is almost 100% higher than recycling, recycling your aluminum cans also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the amount of recycled aluminum produced in one year saves an estimated 26 million barrels of gasoline, which is the entire gas supply for the United States for three days.

Aluminum Can Recycling Near Me

Finding a location to recycle used aluminum has become more accessible over the past decade. While you could drop it off at the local recycling center collection area, why not make extra money by bringing it to a metal recycling yard? Bring your used aluminum down to Roane Metals Group today to receive the highest prices for aluminum cans, as well as, almost every other type ferrous and nonferrous metal.