United States aluminum can recycling grows in 2007

The Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) announced a 2.2 percentage point increase in aluminum can recycling rates, the largest gain in recycling rates in ten years.

In 2007, Americans and the aluminum industry recycled nearly 54 billion aluminum cans - nearly two billion more than in 2006. At a recycling rate of 53.8 percent, the aluminum can is by far the most recycled beverage container in the United States.

“This increase in the recycling rate demonstrates the serious commitment to recycling by the Aluminum industry,” said Kevin Anton, chairman of The Aluminum Association and vice president of Alcoa and president of Alcoa Materials Management, Inc. “The aluminum can is environmentally sustainable. Our industry is committed to doing the right thing and continuing to work to increase the number of aluminum cans recycled annually.”

The Aluminum Can Council, made up of members from both the Aluminum Association and the Can Manufacturers Institute—Alcoa, Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group, ARCO Aluminum, Ball Corporation, Novelis and REXAM supports several recycling initiatives.

The Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) is one of these important programs that works with material recycling facilities and municipalities assisting them in making curbside recycling programs more efficient for their communities. Currently, CVP is engaged with more than 40 communities. Partner communities have seen an average increase of 22 percent in recycling volume and 20 percent in participation.

Other Aluminum Can Council programs include: The Recycle Challenge school drop-off program, can advertising promotions, recycling promotions, student environmental education programs, school and civic organization collection programs, and other projects. Through this group’s efforts, the aluminum can industry recognizes and promotes the value and importance of recycling.

The aluminum beverage can is 100 percent recyclable into new beverage cans indefinitely – a demonstration of recycling at its finest. Today’s lightweight beverage can weighs only 0.468 ounces with 34.17 cans per pound of aluminum. The can is the only beverage container that more than covers the cost of collection and re-processing for itself. It also helps subsidize the collection of other recyclable materials.