Tag Archives: aluminium

Cans Recycling – How to get started?

Setting up a recycling scheme at school is a stimulating way for students to get ‘hands-on’ experience of the benefits of recycling and learning about the environment.

Getting Started:

  1. First step……..you’ve already taken it by coming to this site to find out the best way to set up a scheme in your school.
  2. Announce the start of the scheme in school and at home. You can also ask pupils/students to collect cans at home and bring them into school for recycling.
  3. Set up collection points for recycling – place containers close to vending machines, in canteens, and group recycling containers together.
  4. Make it fun! Recycling can be a vibrant part of your school activities and daily life. Why not hold special assemblies, encourage staff to utilise our free teaching resources.
  5. Communicate regularly with teachers, pupils and their families to remind them about the recycling scheme. Use notice boards, newsletters, the school website, letters home and word of mouth – shout about how well the scheme is doing!


Handy Tips:

  1. Tell the cleaner or janitor! Make sure he/she is aware that the recycling bins should not be emptied into the general rubbish but saved for recycling.
  2. Find out where your local can recycling centre is and how what is the minimum weight they will accept.
  3. Keep track of how much you have collected so far………and circulate the good news. This will keep everyone motivated and encourage them to recycle more.
  4. Make sure you have enough bags or boxes to keep your recycling in.
  5. To save space, squash cans before saving them.
  6. Remember….if you’re not sure whether your can is made of aluminum…..get a magent.  Aluminum is not magnetic so the magnet won’t stick.
  7. Make sure you rinse out the cans before recycling them – food waste left inside cans contaminates the recycling process.

For information about aluminum and the recycling process click here.


Aluminum Cans – CA$H in your hand?

No other material offers the versatility and environmental benefits of aluminum.

Aluminum is infinitely recyclable making it the material of choice for balancing the demand of a growing economy with the need to preserve the environment.

Since the first industrial production of aluminum in the 1880s, 75% of all material produced is still in use today.

The benefits

Aluminum recycling provides significant energy savings in multiple sectors:

Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy, and produces 95% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), than manufacturing primary aluminum. That is a GHG saving equivalent to taking 900,000 cars off the road for 12 months.

Today, the global aluminum recycling industry prevents close to 170 million tonnes of GHG from entering the environment every year.

Recycling 1 tonne of aluminum avoids the emission of about 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions – just 1 tonne of CO2 is equivalent to driving nearly 3,000 miles.

Recycling aluminum reduces the use of natural resources and chemicals (caustic soda, aluminum fluoride and lime) and eliminates the need for bauxite ore to be mined.

More than one million tons of aluminum containers and packaging (soda cans, TV dinner trays, aluminum foil) are thrown away each year.

Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.

Recycling aluminum beverage cans

The aluminum beverage can is the world’s most recycled packaging container.

Eight billion aluminum beverage cans are sold in the UK every year, and each one could be recycled over and over again, saving energy, raw materials and waste.  In the US, approximately 36 billion aluminum cans are landfilled annually. The cans that were thrown away had an estimated scrap value of more than $600 million.


It is estimated that over the past twenty years, the US population has trashed more than 11 million tons of aluminum beverage cans worth over $12 billion on today’s market.

A used aluminum beverage can can be recycled, reprocessed, remade and ready for re-sale in around 60 days.

In a whole year, that one can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.

Making one aluminum beverage can from raw materials uses the same amount of energy that it takes to recycle 20.  And if you really want to put this into an everyday context – recycling just one aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours or keep a 100 watt lightbulb burning for four hours.

100 watt lightbulb

The future

Globally, close to 70% of all aluminum beverage cans are recycled, making it the world’s most recycled packaging product. Because aluminum is infinitely recyclable, it can be reused in applications vastly different from its previous purpose, and it can also be recast into its original form.

These properties make aluminum an ideal material for use in premium applications, even after being recycled many times. For example, a 50-year-old building facade can be recycled into the aluminum needed for the engine block of a new car with no degradation in quality.

So next time you go to throw that can of soda away – just remember you are throwing HARD CA$H away.




Why We Should Recycle

UK households produced 30.5 million tonnes of waste in 2003/04, of which 17% was collected for recycling (source: defra.gov.uk). This figure is still quite low compared to some of our neighbouring EU countries, some recycling over 50% of their waste. There is still a great deal of waste which could be recycled that ends up in landfill sites which is harmful to the environment.

Approximately 55% of 220 million tons of waste generated each year in the United States ends up in one of the over 3,500 landfills. Municipal solid waste landfills are the second-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 22 percent of these emissions in 2008 (EPA, 2011).

Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. Did you know that:

  • 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
  • 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
  • The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
  • On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
  • As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
  • 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.


Discarded cans
Discarded cans
  • 24 million tonnes of aluminium is produced annually, 51,000 tonnes of which ends up as packaging in the UK.
  • If all cans in the UK were recycled, we would need 14 million fewer dustbins.
  • £36,000,000 worth of aluminium is thrown away each year.
  • Aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use in just 6 weeks.
  • 20 recycled cans can be made with the power needed to make a single new can.


In this Sept. 15, 2009 photo, discarded glass piling up at the Cheyenne, Wyo., landfill is shown. The city continues to struggle to find a market for the jars and bottles it collects for recycling.  (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)
In this Sept. 15, 2009 photo, discarded glass piling up at the Cheyenne, Wyo., landfill is shown. The city continues to struggle to find a market for the jars and bottles it collects for recycling. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)
  • Each UK family uses an average of 500 glass bottles and jars annually.
  • The largest glass furnace produces over 1 million glass bottles and jars per day.
  • Recycling 15 glass bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for 31.3 hours or run A/C for 1 hour.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.
  • Glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose.


a world of waste paper
a world of waste paper
  • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials and 35% less water pollution.
  • 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK.
  • The average person in the UK gets through 38kg of newspapers per year.
  • It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of newspaper.


50 billion plastic bottles used in US
50 billion plastic bottles used in US
  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
  • Every pound of recycled plastic reduces energy use in plastic production by 84% and greenhouse gas emissions by 71%.
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
  • In the US four fifths of plastic water bottles used ended up in landfill.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.