How Many Times Can These Common Materials Be Recycled?

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If you have curbside pickup for recyclables at your home, you probably have a general idea of what materials can be recycled. Some products like glass and paper can go into your bin without much thought. Other materials like unusual plastics can be a little trickier.

Have you ever wondered, though, how many times the items you throw into the recycling bin have already been to the recycling center? Some materials have probably made many trips, while others have made none. Keep reading to test your recycling knowledge and find out how many times common materials can be recycled and what unique ways they find new life.
 

Aluminum Cans

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Photo: Jennifer Berry, Earth911
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bundle, recycle
soda, recycle
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Styrofoam, recycle
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How many times can aluminum cans be recycled?

Answer: Infinitely.

Aluminum cans are one of the best materials when it comes to recycling, since there is no limit on the number of times aluminum can be recycled. Consequently, aluminum is a valuable commodity, and is four times more valuable than other recyclable materials, according to The Aluminum Association.

The Aluminum Association also points out that aluminum is recycled very quickly, with one aluminum can being made into another in as little as 60 days from the time a consumer returns it for processing.

Not surprisingly, the recycling rate for aluminum cans is high compared to other recyclables. Currently 65% of cans in the U.S. are recycled.

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