Benefits of Aluminum Can Recycling

Aluminum can recycling is beneficial for individuals, communities, organizations, companies and industries.

Environmental Benefits

  • Recycling aluminum cans saves precious natural resources, energy, time and money.
  • Aluminum cans are unique: Within 60 days, a can is recycled, turned into a new can and back on store shelves.
  • Aluminum is a sustainable metal and can be recycled over and over again.
  • In 2007, 54 billion cans were recycled, saving the energy equivalent of 15 million barrels of crude oil – America’s entire gas consumption for one day.

Economic Benefits

  • The aluminum can is the most valuable container to recycle and highest consumer recycling rate in the U.S.
  • Each year, the aluminum industry pays out more than $800 million dollars for empty aluminum cans — that’s a lot of money that can go to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Boy or Girl Scouts of America or even a local school. Money earned from recycling cans helps people help themselves and their communities. Recycling helps build new homes, pays for a group trip, supports a project or buys a lunch!
  • Today it is cheaper, faster and more energy-efficient to recycle aluminum than ever before. The aluminum can is 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled indefinitely. The can remains the most recyclable of all materials.
  • Other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  • Aluminum has a high market value and continues to provide an economic incentive to recycle. When aluminum cans are recycled curbside, they help pay for community services.

Community Benefits

  • Aluminum can recycling enables charitable organizations and groups to earn funds to further local projects. The money earned enhances programs, communities and improves the quality of people’s lives. From a local can drive to raise money for school improvements, to a Boy or Girl Scout troop “Cans Into Cash” competition to pay for camp, recycling is used all over the country to help others.
  • A perfect example of this is the Cans for Habitat program. Through a national partnership between the Aluminum Association and Habitat for Humanity International, aluminum cans are recycled via a network of drop-off locations to raise money for Habitat for Humanity to build decent, affordable housing with low-income families. Just by recycling a can once destined for the landfill, you are keeping our local environment clean, providing a needed resource for the aluminum recycling process, and most importantly, helping provide local housing to those in need. It’s a win-win for the individual, community, business, industry and the environment.