MAY 2010

Alcoa dedicates expanded recycling operations

Guests of the event view new equipment installed as part of the expansion. The project includes a new crusher, furnace, state of the art environmental controls and associated handling equipment.

Alcoa has dedicated a $24 million expansion of aluminum can recycling capacity at the company’s Tennessee operation which will increase recycling capability by nearly 50 percent and help secure more than 100 jobs at the facility.

“The aluminum can is the world’s most efficient package, largely because it can be recycled infinitely,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, president and CEO of Alcoa. “In the United States alone, more than 46 billion cans were put into landfills last year,” said Kleinfeld. “If we could instead recycle about half of those lost cans, we could achieve our goal of a 75 percent recycling rate and save the emissions of two coal-fired power plants.”

The new Tennessee Operations Can Reclamation facility includes a new crusher and delacquering furnace and supporting building enclosures, utilities and environmental systems. These improvements will help increase capacity using state-of-the-art environmental and fuel-efficient technology as well as support future flexibility to process other scrap types.

Recycling an aluminum can saves 95 percent of the energy it takes to make a can from new metal. A used beverage container can be recycled and back on the shelf in 60 days, something no other beverage package can do.

In 2009, Alcoa announced a commitment to work toward increasing recycling rates in North America to 75 percent by 2015. Increasing recycling capacity is part of the overall strategy to drive recycling rates.

“Today Americans recycle about 54 percent of all beverage cans produced in North America,” Kleinfeld said. “If everyone would recycle one more can per week, we can reach our 75 percent goal.”