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.