Facts about Aluminum Recycling


Interesting facts about aluminum and aluminum can recycling.

  • Discovered in the 1820s, aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth.
  • Over 50 percent 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: two-thirds 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.

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