3 Great Benefits of Recycling Aluminum

When it comes to the most abundant metal found naturally on Earth, there is only one clear answer: aluminum. Putting that into perspective, the amount of aluminum makes up about 8% of the Earth’s land mass, which makes it extremely common. This may not seem that impressive, but when you figure that aluminum weighs 1/3 of gold or copper for the same volume, it is easy to comprehend just how much aluminum is present.

While aluminum is very common, recycling efforts are still important. Just like all naturally occurring elements and minerals on Earth, there is a limited amount. While this amount is nearly incomprehensible as discussed above, the human race has had a significant impact on the natural resources and environment since our beginning.

Now, more so than ever, the efforts made to increase recycling awareness and participation are crucial. Environmentally and economically, recycling aluminum presents multiple benefits.

Here are some of the top facts and benefits of recycling aluminum:

Valuable

Not only is aluminum valuable because it is a metal, but it is also the most valuable item in your recycling bin due to the easy of reprocessing recycled materials vs. processing raw materials. The reason this is true is that it takes roughly 95% less energy than using virgin ore.

To put this into comprehensible terms, using one ton of recycled aluminum saves over 1,600 gallons of oil. This is a huge benefit of recycling when thinking about the carbon footprint and burning of fossil fuels. When it comes to money, the aluminum industry pays out over $800 million a year for recycled cans alone.

The scary part of this is that aluminum cans only have a 67% recycling rate (lots of money thrown away each year in cans alone). The current price of aluminum is just over $0.90/lb and the prices of recycled aluminum (depending on the type) are less.

Cycle Time

In just as little as two months, that aluminum product that you recycled can be processed and reused. Depending on the alloy made with the aluminum, the process length can vary but the cycle time is extremely short.

If the aluminum is going to be repurposed into the same type of products, the process is much simpler and basically only requires melting of the recycled aluminum. However, if new alloys are to be made from different aluminum alloys, the materials are sent to refiners that have special equipment for melting and separating the raw materials.

Versatile

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of recycling aluminum is the fact that it can be infinitely recycled and reused. Roughly 75% of all the aluminum that has been produced in the last 100 years is still in use today. No other material can boast such an incredible figure.

This is only possible because aluminum never loses any of its properties or characteristics, despite the number of times it has been recycled. Because aluminum is always used in alloys, the durability is great because it is strong, lightweight and resists oxidation and corrosion.

There uses for aluminum are tremendous and the main industrial uses are for transportation (cars, trains, etc.), construction (due to its strength to weight ratio), electrical (lightweight and extremely ductile) and consumer goods.

If your Valley business produces recyclable aluminum scrap and you have been searching for a better recycling solution, call Consolidated Resources, Inc. We have been serving the Valley and Arizona for nearly 30 years and pride ourselves on custom-tailoring recycling solutions ranging from storage to comprehensive service. So let CRI help your business save money and save the planet.

5 Most Important Materials to Recycle

With limited natural resources and an abundant consumer demand for products, it makes sense to recycle what we have already been given. Why? It’s cost efficient, it helps us steward the environment, and it’s relatively simple to do.

A Fresh Mindset is Everything

If you think you don’t waste that much, consider the valuable resources you might be inadvertently throwing away on a daily basis. Awareness can make a huge difference, not only in our perception but in our decision-making process as well.

Still, don’t think you can make much of a difference? Check out the following commonly thrown away, yet easy to recycle materials, you might not have considered.

Here’s a List of Recyclable Materials You Likely Use Daily:

Aluminum Cans

We all have them: Think soda cans, beer cans, juice cans, you name it. And guess what? This is a product that is not only plentiful, but it’s also completely recyclable. Did you know, it takes 95% less energy to recycle old cans than it does to make new ones?

And, there’s more: Recycling aluminum cans is not just a 1-time winning situation. Aluminum can be recycled over and over again. Yep. There’s virtually no limit. It’s the recycled product that just keeps on giving.                                                                                             

Recycling this resource is just a no-brainer. It’s easy, plentiful and super-efficient. So, next time you start to throw away that soda can, do something useful and recycle it instead.

Plastic Bottles

Billions, yes that’s billions with a “B,” of single-serving water bottles are purchased every year. Sadly, almost all of them (approximately 80%) will be thrown into the trash, ultimately finding their way into our nation’s already overflowing landfills.

When recycling plastic bottles takes ⅔ less energy than making new ones, and it’s so easy to do, why not make this a simple, and helpful, lifelong commitment? How many single-serving plastic water bottles do you think you use daily?

Newspaper

Yeah, I get it. Print papers are rapidly declining, and virtually going the way of the dinosaur. Yes, online news is king. However, there are still plenty of newspapers floating around, and only so many bird cages that need lining.

So, why throw old papers in the trash, when they can be recycled so efficiently? This one’s an easy commitment to make, and a simple follow through.


Cardboard

Whether it’s a package from Amazon— with tiny contents safely wrapped in a ginormous box—or cardboard containers in the workplace, they are all recyclable.

Simply break the boxes down, and recycle, so you can help in the recreation of more cardboard production, in a continuous, and environmentally safe, way. It’s easy!

Steel

Recycling steel is more than just about cans. Consider other steel products you might otherwise have thrown away. How about old auto parts, and those it’s-time-to-replace, ugly, harvest gold appliances?

Steel is a highly sought-after recyclable material. It helps the environment to recycle, and it’s also a valuable commodity.

It’s simple to do your part, to reduce the environmental footprint of steel production, by recycling.

It’s as Easy as Changing a Habit

All in all, recycling is more about education, and learning new habits, than it is a chore.

How much recycled material do you calculate you throw into an already overly burdened landfill on a weekly basis? How about annually? When considered, the numbers for any given household can be staggering. What simple things can you, and your family, do to make a huge difference?