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A lot of the food and drink products we buy in our food shops are packaged in aluminium or steel cans, both of these materials can be recycled after we have finished with them to make either new cans or products.
Recycling aluminium uses around 5% of the energy and emissions needed to make it from the raw material. This metal can be recycled multiple times without losing its properties, so ensuring that we do so can be extremely beneficial for our environment.
Similarly, steel can also be recycled time and time again without losing its qualities. In recycling steel, we can conserve non-renewable fossil fuels and reduce the consumption of energy and the emission of gasses like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
So how do we recycle these materials?
Aluminium cans are often shredded in order to remove any of the remaining coloured coating or printing, they are then melted down in a furnace. Once melted, the molten metal is poured into ingot casts to be set. Each ingot can then be made into around 1.5 million cans!
Steel cans are also melted in a furnace where molten iron is added. Oxygen is then poured into the furnace in order to heat it to around 1700°C. The liquid metal is poured into a mould to form slabs which are then rolled into coils. The coils that are created are used to make other steel products such as cars and bikes.
Both aluminium and steel are easy to recycle and doing so can create huge environmental benefits. Despite this, many recyclable cans still end up in landfill unnecessarily. Recycling cans can reduce the amount of raw materials that are needed to produce new products.
It is important to remember to rinse out food cans once they are empty and place them into your kerbside recycling bin!
J&B Recycling collect and sort mixed cans into aluminium and steel, we also recover cans from local authority kerbside grades including mixed glass and cans, mixed plastics and cans, and fully co-mingled from a variety of sources, these are then recycled back into a variety of metal products including new cans.