Most people are familiar with the value of recycling but it is not common to understand the specific steps that recycled items go through as they are made useful for other needs. Aluminum cans are some of the most recycled products and many people are not aware of just how much aluminum on the market has been recycled.
If you have been recycling your aluminum cans out of habit but don’t really know what goes into the process or why it matters to recycle these items, you need to read on to learn more. There are many reasons why recycling aluminum is important for the environment and everyone should be informed about this necessary process when they are collecting recyclables each week.
If you are ready to learn more about the life cycle of an aluminum can and why it is important to recycle them, you need to read on!
Life Cycle of an Aluminum Can
Aluminum is one of the most readily recycled products that is utilized today. This is a strong and lightweight material that can be used for a huge list of products. This is one of the few recyclable items where 100% of the aluminum is reused during the process of recycling it. It takes about 60 days total for an aluminum can to be fully recycled.
1. Used Can
This is the stage where cans are placed in recycle bins for pickup. Used cans are often soda cans but they might be cans that were used to hold other liquids as well. The recycling facility picks these cans up and takes them to the recycling plant for processing. These cans are then sent to an aluminum refining plant.
The cans that have been sent to the refining plant are melted down into solid block form. These blocks are called ingots and they can be used to make many products.
3. Aluminum Blanks
A machine heats the aluminum up and then presses it into thin sheets. The sheets are then punched to make blanks.
If the aluminum is going to be used to make new cans, the forms that have been made out of the blanks are then rolled into can shapes. The top is secured out of a separate piece that is crafted. The two parts are attached at the end of the can creation process.
5. New Can
When a new aluminum can has been made, it will be blank and ready to be labeled with the information and branding materials of whatever soda or other liquid will be put in the cans.
Why Does it Matter That We Recycle Aluminum in Florida?
One of the key reasons that recycling this metal is so critical is that collecting resources for the formation of aluminum is very costly and the process to make aluminum from scratch is a long one. This is a time-intensive process and one that negatively impacts the environment. When you recycle aluminum that you have purchased as soda cans, you prevent the need for sourcing new aluminum to make every new product that is produced from this metal.
Recycling aluminum also reduces more greenhouse gas emissions than many other products that are currently recycled. Making this product from scratch produces a lot of harmful greenhouse gasses but recycling produces only a small fraction of these byproducts. This is one of the most beneficial recycling processes when compared to the environmental impact that is generated by creating the product from scratch.
Recycling aluminum also saves a lot of money for many different businesses. Due to the cost of creating aluminum from scratch, most companies would not be able to afford to buy aluminum products or components that they need. Recycled aluminum is affordable and offers a much more cost-effective means of developing and crafting products of many kinds. Soda cans are the most familiar example of this material in daily use and daily life, but aluminum is also used for car parts and more. When you prevent waste through proper recycling, you make it possible for all of these products to be made affordably and safely.
The final benefit that you should consider when thinking about just throwing out your aluminum cans is that aluminum is one of the most likely products to be thrown away rather than recycled. This means that millions of tons of aluminum are being wasted each year that could have been recycled. If all of these aluminum products were recycled properly each year the impact on the environment and the economy would be greatly reduced.
Recycling aluminum is key to maintaining the health of our earth and most people can positively impact the environment just by recycling their aluminum cans each week. This is a small thing to do that can make a huge impact on the overall health of the environment.
Caring for the Florida Environment and the Life Cycle of an Aluminum Can Are Linked
When you recycle your aluminum cans, you are helping the environment and preventing waste that fills up landfills. Taking the time to recycle your aluminum products also prevents the need to create aluminum from scratch which is costly and bad for the environment.
You might think that just a few aluminum cans that get thrown away can’t be that bad for the environment, but if everyone throws away just a few cans a year, this number grows exponentially. Preventing items that can be recycled from ending up in landfills is possible when everyone works together to recycle critical materials like aluminum.
If you drink soda that is sold in cans, make sure that you always recycle the cans. This is one of the biggest ways that you can help the environment and you will be making it possible for 100% of the aluminum in the cans that you recycle to be used again and again. This is one of the most readily recyclable products and it is well worth making sure that none of it goes to waste.
At GEL, we can help facilitate aluminum waste drop-off, curbside pick-up, as well as recycling. Our recycling services are here to keep a wide range of materials out of the landfill and we are happy to help with your eco-friendly disposal needs!