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How to Recycle Aluminum Foil

Foil is made from the same material as soda cans (aluminum), but since it’s most often contaminated with food waste or combined with plastic (like with yogurt tops), there’s no guarantee you can recycle it with your aluminum cans.

Aluminum Foil Recycling Preparation

  1. You want to make sure that aluminum foil is as clean as possible before recycling. While burns and holes won’t affect the recycling market, you’ll want to remove any meats or sauces from the foil.
  2. If you’re recycling aluminum foil that you bought and used for storage, separate the foil from the paperboard box and corrugated tube before recycling.
  3. If foil is combined with other materials (such as in drink boxes, candy wrappers and yogurt tops) and can’t be separated, you’ll want to throw it away. Foil mixed with other materials is considered recycling contamination.
  4. Combine all sheets of foil into one ball. This will keep the material easily separated from other products, and also prevent it from blowing away (aluminum foil is a very light material).
  5. Use Earth911’s recycling directory to find an aluminum foil recycler.

Why Recycle Aluminum Foil

Americans dispose of enough aluminum foil annually to build an entire aircraft fleet.

Find Recycling Guides for Other Materials


Frequent Aluminum Foil Recycling Questions







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