We can find aluminum almost everywhere we look. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, disposable pie tins, foil packs, sidings, building gutters, and more are made of this versatile material. Why should we recycle aluminum? The answer is quite simple: It’s a quick, energy-saving process that can be performed nearly endlessly. Read below for fast facts on why recycling aluminum is so essential to good recycling habits:
1. Producing even a single aluminum can requires energy – in fact, it requires the same amount of energy as a television running continuously for three hours.
2. Even when recycled, aluminum stays the same. It takes four hundred years for this element to break down, thus meaning that the Coke can you have just emptied will appear in a similar condition for centuries.
3. Airplanes and automobiles use vast amounts of aluminum. In the year 2004, recycled aluminum in the US totaled enough to build 13 aircraft, meaning there was enough recycled aluminum in the country for one full commercial airplane approximately every three months!
4. Recycling aluminum is fast and effective. In just a matter of minutes, around 350,000 cans are produced. If citizens were to commit to a 100% recycling effort of aluminum cans, there would be no need for new manufacturing, thus significantly reducing energy consumption and waste.
5. Materials made of aluminum are very valuable. In previous centuries, aluminum was considered more precious than gold and silver. Although not viewed as quite so valuable today, it is very much in demand, particularly as recycled forms look, feel and act no differently than newly-manufactured pieces.
Aluminum is a simple material with huge potential in the world of recycling. Requiring a high amount of energy and resources in manufacturing, recycling not only makes good environmental, but good business sense as well. With recycled products turning out exactly as newly-manufactured items – and at the fraction of a cost – the verdict on aluminum is easy: recycle, reuse, repeat.