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Aluminium recycling

Author: Harry Browar

Cans, foil, and other items such as trays are made out of aluminium. In North America one of the major product being recycled is aluminium. Though Americans recycle about 65-70% of the aluminium used in their household, thousands of tons of this is discarded each year.
When thinking of recycling aluminium, the image that comes to mind is of cans. But the fact is that any household item made of aluminium, like lawn furniture can be recycled. The local recycling depot can clarify any doubt whether an aluminium item is recyclable or not.

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The process which aluminum products must go through before they can be used in new products is an interesting one. Aluminum products are collected from various recycling depots and taken to a processing plant that deals with scrap.
There is a requirement to sort out this aluminium stuff. Once sorted out they are compressed into blocks. From here these blocks are sent to various aluminium companies. The existing labels and coatings are taken care of in the aluminium company.
The aluminium product that we have has approximately 50% of recycled products. At the aluminium company these blocks are cut into shreds and thereafter crushed. It is here that the labels and coatings etc are removed. The crushed shreds are now melted with new aluminium.
The molten aluminium can now be converted to any shape as required. At time the process differs a little depending on the desired end product. You will agree that aluminium recycling is not very difficult.
As aluminum is the most common metal on the planet, why do we bother recycling it? We aren't going to run out of it for eons, but using a new product is actually more energy consuming. Another issue is the waste factor.
A large amount of waste is being produced in North America. They are being put in landfill sites. Landfill sites are difficult to find and it is getting increasingly difficult to dispose our waste. Apart from this the waste is harmful to the flora and fauna in the area of the landfill.
One way that companies can encourage consumers to recycle aluminum is deposits. Most aluminum cans require you to pay a deposit. In order to get that deposit back you must return the can. The can is then transported to the recycling depot and then to the processing plant.
Most people help the recycling process and in the bargain protect the environment. There are still many people who throw away these cans and other recyclable products instead of sending them for recycling. Recycling is good for all. It reduces our waste products and conserves energy. The process also creates many jobs and helps the community.
You can be the first in your area to form an environmental group that wants to start a recycling program. You will most likely find that both individuals and businesses will want to join you.

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