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[United States]
Posted on : Nov 18, 2008

Aluminum industry recovers
approximately 54% of the aluminum containers produced in the US. While aluminum
cans are already the most widely recycled beverage container in the country,
each year Americans still discard over 50 billion aluminum cans which end up in
landfills.
Recycling plays a critical role
in maintaining the aluminum can as an environmentally sustainable package. 
Every can that is recovered is turned back into a new beverage can, saving
energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing the use of natural
resources.
Raising the recycling rate of
aluminum cans to 75% would:


Result in an energy savings
of 139.7 million MBTUs in avoided energy.

Result in the avoidance of
nearly 9 million tones of greenhouse gases, which is equivalent to removing
more than 1.6 million cars from the road over a year.

To achieve the recycling
target, the Aluminum Association will work in partnership with other
stakeholders to increase public education, grow the recycling infrastructure,
and explore new policy initiatives.  The Association will encourage and assist
local and state governments to consider a range of options, including:


Growing and strengthening
voluntary recycling programs, such as curbside recycling initiatives. The
aluminum industry’s Curbside Value Partnership® will continue to be a
valuable support mechanism for such programs

Considering deposit
legislation as an option for all beverage containers. Container deposit
programs are a proven, sustainable method of capturing beverage cans for
recycling. States that have deposit programs have the highest can recycling
rates, on average at 74% or higher, while the recycling rate in non-deposit
states is around 38%.

Exploring the role that
mandatory recycling programs and landfill bans can play as part of the
solution.

Recognizing the benefits of
recycling in any potential climate change policies.

The U.S. aluminum industry’s
recycling rate peaked at 68% in 1992, but in the following years declined to as
low as 50%.  More recently the recycling rate has been gradually increasing
again, growing by 2.2 percentage points in 2007.
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