Aluminum, Recycling's Best Friend
Most people know aluminum by its common uses like aluminum foil or cans, but at IDENT we know aluminum because of the signs we work with every day.
Aluminum is one of the most abundant metals on the planet. It takes a lot less energy to recycle aluminum than manufacturing new metals and can be recycled indefinitely, which is why Aluminum is the most commonly recycled non-ferrous* metal.
When it comes to recycling scrap metal, the list of benefits for the environment and the economy is quite long. Producing aluminum from recycled metals saves more than 90 percent of the energy needed to create new aluminum from ore. By recycling the bulk of our aluminum, it allows us to leave more natural resources in the earth, lowers the cost of production, and lowers energy usage.
Making products out of used aluminum is now a way for companies to show a commitment to more eco-friendly manufacturing – even Apple is doing it! Apple recently announced that it’s new iPads and Apple Watches would feature portions from 100% recycled aluminum. “We’re pioneering a future where we no longer need to mine precious materials from the Earth to make our products,” Apple said in it’s 2019 Environmental Responsibility Report.
It isn’t hard to see why so many companies have converted to recycled aluminum products. According to The Aluminum Association (an industry group), almost 75% of all the aluminum produced is still in use today.
What does this process look like?
Once the metal recycling company receives your scraps, everything first gets sorted according to types of metal. Once the aluminum has been picked out, it is ready to be sorted again, this time by the different grades of aluminum. From there, each grade gets cleaned and then reduced to its pure aluminum form, taking out other contaminants such as plastic along the way. The last step in this process is packing the aluminum and sending it to a company or consumer.
How can you contribute to sustainability and recycling metals?
Reduce: When considering substrate choices for your signs, ask for 100% aluminum vs. composite or plastic products.
Reuse: Send in your old sign blanks and ask your sign company to use the backside.
Recycle: You can sell your scrap metals to most metal recycling companies in your area. Check your local scrap metal recyclers website to see what they do and don't accept.
It's a no-brainer when it comes to aluminum recycling, so why don't you put some extra money in your pocket by recycling your scrap metals.
*A metal that doesn’t contain iron.