27 12, 2012

Kickstart 100% Recycled Aluminum Bikes With ReCycle

2015-06-18T15:33:37+00:00December 27th, 2012|

What happens when you recycle all those aluminum cans? In most cases, you’ll get some pocket change in return and the accumulated cans ship off to a recycling plant, with the materials later distributed as — drum roll please — more cans.


ReCycle, a Los Angeles-based startup, is looking to put the cycle in recycling, all while pumping out a product that’s just a little more exciting than aluminum cans. ReCycle is striving to make the world’s first line of bikes manufactured from 100% recycled aluminum — and they’re looking for a little help from their cycling-enthusiast friends. From their Kickstarter page:


It all started with inspiration sparked by a recycled-materials, reusable grocery bag with “ingredients” printed on it attached to a messenger bag. Aluminum. Rubber. Plastic. “Hey. Those are bike parts.” Flash! A few years later, and our prototypes are alive, well and rolling down a street near you. (If you live in Los Angeles.) Against so many odds, we’ve managed to create a head-turning bicycle made from 100%-recycled aluminum, making it the greenest transportation option available anywhere.


Now, it’s time to roll The ReCycle forward and start reducing carbon output and waste by reusing aluminum through a closed-loop, recycling mission to create new and awesome bikes from old and worn out materials.


The goal of ReCycle’s Kickstarter campaign is to raise enough funds to manufacture 50 of their bikes, or a dollar amount of $105,000 by January 1. Backers will receive anything from t-shirts to custom paint jobs on a ReCycle bike, along with the generally good feeling about encouraging reusable materials in innovative ways.


To contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, visit their official page or learn more at ReCycle’s site.

6 09, 2012

Aluminum Recycling: Growing, But We Can Do More

2015-06-18T15:33:38+00:00September 6th, 2012|

It’s well-know that aluminum is the most commonly recycled metal in the United States. There’s good reason for that too – its output (mostly in the form of soda cans) has the biggest consumer reach, and with aluminum recycling programs so popular around the country, everyday folks have incentive to collect and turn in cans. It also helps that aluminum is the most efficient metal to recycle.

The good news is that everyone wins when it comes to aluminum recycling. The better news is that aluminum recycling rates have gone up over the past year – seven percent, from 58.1% to 65.1% in 2011 to be exact according to the group of the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. From Environmental Leader:

“That means 61 billion cans were recycled in 2011, and that aluminum cans are recycled at a rate that is more than double that of any other beverage container, the organizations say. The industry has a goal of reaching a 75 percent recycle rate by 2015.”

A 75% recycle rate by 2015 means growing roughly by 3% for 2012 (which includes ongoing collected data), 2013, and 2014. However, the numbers aren’t quite as simple as “everyone recycle more!”  Here are further details from Environmental Leader:

“A large part of the increase in the recycling rate was driven by imports of used beverage containers. Imports in 2011 increased by about 25 percent, underscoring the need for improved recycling among US consumers as well as the value of aluminum, the organizations say.”

The import of recycled cans essentially swaps out local used cans for recycled cans sourced from other countries – kind of like buying carbon offsets for energy. That means that there are significant ways that both the industry and consumers can achieve this, thus decreasing the reliance on imported cans. The non-profit group As You Sow noted that the true overall recycling rate is about 35% — which is significant, but certainly far off from the ideal 75% (that is, all of the targeted 2015 goal made up by American recycled cans). Their recommendation is to pin a greater responsibility on manufacturing companies; the other side of the argument is to provide more incentives and accessibility to the general consumer.

10 08, 2012

The Most Earth-Friendly Metal

2015-06-18T15:33:38+00:00August 10th, 2012|

Take a look around – whether you’re at home or at work, there’s a good chance you’ve got aluminum in your view. From door frames to support structures to everyday knick-knacks, aluminum is everywhere.

But did you know that there’s a really good chance that the aluminum around you used to be something else? That’s right, your door frame has some, if not all, old soda cans and other recycled aluminum in it. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds – and it doesn’t mean that your stuff will smell like Mountain Dew. In fact aluminum recycling’s been around since the early 1900s – and it’s not just from soda cans. Anything from siding to wire to computers can be recycled, so much so that about one-third of American-produced aluminum stemmed from recycled materials over the past five years.

Why is aluminum so recycle-friendly? Part of it is material science – its properties don’t break down during the recycle process. It also uses far less energy to recycle aluminum than to create new materials, which makes it good for the environment and good for industry.  In fact, if you’re thinking big picture, recycled aluminum even benefits the economy, as the smaller contributions to landfills mean fewer resources go to creating and managing those spaces.

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