How is an aluminum can recycled? - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

How is an aluminum can recycled?

Individuals and haulers can deposit and collect aluminum used beverage containers (UBCs) at the curbside or community drop-off centers.

From there, haulers take the cans to a material recovery facility (MRF), where workers separate aluminum cans from other food and beverage containers.

Since most recovered UBCs are processed into new cans, it is important that processors generate only high-quality scrap. The recovered aluminum containers must be free from dirt and other foreign substances.

The MRF or a scrap dealer then bales the cans, which brokers and can sheet manufacturers purchase.

Can sheet manufacturers typically have arrangements with toll processors to refine the metal and melt it into ingots, which are solid metal blocks.

The can sheet manufacturers then melt the ingots to make cans, and then sell the cans back to the beverage industry.

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