In recent time, there has been a massive improvement in recycling aluminum cans. In 2003, it was reported that Americans recycled 62.6 billion aluminum cans. Those cans, placed end-to-end, could make 171 circles around the earth.
Every minute an average of 105,800 aluminum cans are recycled. That is how important can recycling has become. But what is involved here?
Local councils provide special can recycling containers (bins) that are clearly marked. This helps people to know what to place in them. The various cans include soda cans, fruit cans and vegetable cans.
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Trucks come for these at pick up spots to the recycling centres. Cans may also be metallic or steel, but people do not know the difference.
At the collection center, a huge magnet is rolled over them as they move on the conveyor belt to pull out all the metal and steel cans.
Only the aluminum cans are washed, crushed, condensed in to 30-pounds briquettes for other companies for further processing. The rest is also sorted and sent to their appropriate recycling centres.
The crushed cans are loaded into a burning furnace, where all printing and designs on the cans are removed, melted and blended with new (virgin) aluminum.
The molten (liquid) aluminum is poured into moulds and made into bars called ingots.
The ingots are then fed into powerful rollers, which flatten them into thin sheets of aluminum of about 25.4 in thickness. These thin sheets are rolled into coils and sold or sent to can-making factories.
They use the aluminum coils to prepare cans and containers for other food and drink manufacturers. It is estimated that cans collected at collection points take up to 60 days to be appear in the shops again as new cans containing your favorite soda, juice or food.
In summary, recycling is processing used materials (waste) into new, useful products. This is done to reduce the use of raw materials that would have been used. Recycling also uses less energy and great way of controlling air, water and land pollution.
Effective recycling starts with household (or the place where the waste was created). In many serious countries, the authorities help households with bin bags with labels on them. Households then sort out the waste themselves and place them in the right bags for collection. This makes the work less difficult.
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Items usually recycled include Plastic waste (plastic bags, water bottles, rubber bags and plastic wrappers), Glass waste (broken bottles, beer and wine bottles), Aluminum waste (Cans from soda drink, tomato, fruit cans and all other cans can be recycled).
Recycling is beneficial in many ways. It helps protect the environment, pollution of the air, land, water and soil is reduced, it conserves natural resources and saves energy.