Aluminum Facts

Image of aluminum items to take to ECR or put in blue bag
  • There are 29 cans per pound of aluminum, up from 22 in 1972.
  • 99% of all beer cans and 97% of all soft drink cans are made of aluminum.
  • The average aluminum can in the U.S. contains 40% post-consumer recycled aluminum.
  • It requires only 5% as much energy when a can is made of recycled aluminum as compared to virgin ore!
  • American consumers and industry throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial air fleet every 3 months.
  • In 1994, 3.1 million tons of aluminum waste was generated: aluminum containers and packaging, such as soft drink and beer cans, contributed 2.1 million tons.
  • Aluminum made up 1.5% of the total municipal solid waste stream generated in the U.S. in 1994.
  • Approximately 65.5% of aluminum containers were recycled in the U.S. in 1994. The overall rate for aluminum packaging was 55.0%.
  • Most aluminum recovered from the waste stream is used to manufacture new cans.
  • The lifespan of an aluminum can is 6 weeks on average: that means that the time it takes for a beverage can to be manufactured, filled, sold, recycled and remanufactured is 6 weeks on average.
  • We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
  • Aluminum takes 200-500 years to fully degrade in a landfill.
  • Recycling Aluminum takes 95% less energy than making Aluminum from raw materials.
  • One ton of recycled Aluminum saves. 1663 gallons of oil, 10 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Recycling one Aluminum can save enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
  • There is no limit to the amount of times Aluminum can be recycled.

Content on this page provided by Second Time Around - EPA Region 5 and Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Purdue University and www.recycling-revolution.com