When it comes to the most abundant metal found naturally on Earth, there is only one clear answer: aluminum. Putting that into perspective, the amount of aluminum makes up about 8% of the Earth’s land mass, which makes it extremely common. This may not seem that impressive, but when you figure that aluminum weighs 1/3 of gold or copper for the same volume, it is easy to comprehend just how much aluminum is present.
While aluminum is very common, recycling efforts are still important. Just like all naturally occurring elements and minerals on Earth, there is a limited amount. While this amount is nearly incomprehensible as discussed above, the human race has had a significant impact on the natural resources and environment since our beginning.
Now, more so than ever, the efforts made to increase recycling awareness and participation are crucial. Environmentally and economically, recycling aluminum presents multiple benefits.
Here are some of the top facts and benefits of recycling aluminum:
Not only is aluminum valuable because it is a metal, but it is also the most valuable item in your recycling bin due to the easy of reprocessing recycled materials vs. processing raw materials. The reason this is true is that it takes roughly 95% less energy than using virgin ore.
To put this into comprehensible terms, using one ton of recycled aluminum saves over 1,600 gallons of oil. This is a huge benefit of recycling when thinking about the carbon footprint and burning of fossil fuels. When it comes to money, the aluminum industry pays out over $800 million a year for recycled cans alone.
The scary part of this is that aluminum cans only have a 67% recycling rate (lots of money thrown away each year in cans alone). The current price of aluminum is just over $0.90/lb and the prices of recycled aluminum (depending on the type) are less.
In just as little as two months, that aluminum product that you recycled can be processed and reused. Depending on the alloy made with the aluminum, the process length can vary but the cycle time is extremely short.
If the aluminum is going to be repurposed into the same type of products, the process is much simpler and basically only requires melting of the recycled aluminum. However, if new alloys are to be made from different aluminum alloys, the materials are sent to refiners that have special equipment for melting and separating the raw materials.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of recycling aluminum is the fact that it can be infinitely recycled and reused. Roughly 75% of all the aluminum that has been produced in the last 100 years is still in use today. No other material can boast such an incredible figure.
This is only possible because aluminum never loses any of its properties or characteristics, despite the number of times it has been recycled. Because aluminum is always used in alloys, the durability is great because it is strong, lightweight and resists oxidation and corrosion.
There uses for aluminum are tremendous and the main industrial uses are for transportation (cars, trains, etc.), construction (due to its strength to weight ratio), electrical (lightweight and extremely ductile) and consumer goods.
If your Valley business produces recyclable aluminum scrap and you have been searching for a better recycling solution, call Consolidated Resources, Inc. We have been serving the Valley and Arizona for nearly 30 years and pride ourselves on custom-tailoring recycling solutions ranging from storage to comprehensive service. So let CRI help your business save money and save the planet.