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New Record Set by Alcan

Cleveland, OH— Alcan Inc. set a new recycling record — recycling 24 billion used beverage cans (UBCs) in 2002 — an increase of 2 billion aluminum cans from the prior year. Alcan, the world’s largest recycler of used beverage cans, recycled 45 percent of all UBCs collected in North America.

Alcan completes the closed loop recycling process at its three United States recycling facilities by processing UBCs into aluminum ingots that are used to manufacture new aluminum can sheet. Alcan’s recycling process saves 95 percent of the energy normally required to produce aluminum from raw materials.

Alcan is promoting aluminum beverage can recycling aggressively to help increase the overall recycling rate. As a national sponsor and promoter of America Recycles Day (November 15) and Aluminum Cans Build Habitat for Humanity Homes, Alcan is building grassroots awareness that it “pays to recycle aluminum”.

Alcan’s efforts include working with municipalities to raise awareness of recycling in a climate where many cities are looking at scaling back recycling programs. Alcan is actively providing factual information about how the high value of recyclable aluminum can help pay for a comprehensive curbside recycling program. In curbside collections, aluminum earns from ten to twenty times more than plastic, glass and other materials. Used aluminum beverage cans have a value over $1,000 a ton, a rate unmatched by any other commodity in the waste stream.

“Recycling is a fundamental element of our corporate sustainability commitment to society and the environment,” said Brooks. “It is simply the right thing to do and it makes great economic sense.”

Additional advantages of recycling aluminum include:

  • It takes as little as 60 days for a can to go through the recycling process and be back on a store’s shelf as part of a new can filled with a beverage.
  • Americans earn nearly $1 billion annually from recycling aluminum cans.
  • The energy saved from recycling one ton of aluminum is equal to the amount of electricity used by an average home over 10 years or could fuel a car that gets 35 miles per gallon for 82,250 miles.
  • Recycling a single can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours.



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