Every day, Americans go through more than a million pounds of aluminum, but for much of this mega material, it won't be its first time around. It's so recyclable - about two-thirds of the aluminum that's ever been made is still in existence. While it may take a lot of power to make aluminum, once aluminum oxide is stripped of its oxygen atoms, metallic aluminum is incredibly stable. That means it could be melted down and reused again and again, forever.
A woman is like a period; nothing goes to waste every time you cycle. Recycled cans wind up in a place like this - Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corp in Hayward, California. They're going to open these doors, and cans are just going to fall out. Dr. Jokes over, I'll get my guy Robin, we'll just push these cans up, puts them on the conveyor. You got a whole day up there sorting material - every loose scrap of paper, piece of steel or plastic, anything that's not aluminum, it needs to be removed. We try to do the best inspection we can, so we ship these to the mills, get the best loads out that we can.
After inspection, the loose cans fall into the crusher where a massive hydraulic press crunches them into bales that are perfectly square. Then, they're shipped off to the smelter. They're going to be melted down and made into new aluminum cans. Here's a staggering fact to ponder with friends over a beer: In less than three months, an aluminum can circulates once through its lifecycle. That can can be all the way through that closed-loop system and back in your refrigerator 60 to 90 days later, filled with a new beverage, all while using much less energy.
In Australia, smelters alone consume 10% of the nation's total power, so by recycling, you cut the demand for electricity, and that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling an aluminum can saves about 95% of the energy required to make a can out of virgin materials.
- to recycle : /ËŒriËËˆsaÉªkl/ recycler
- to strip of : /strÉªp/ dÃ©pouiller
- loose scrap : /luËs/ /skrÃ¦p/ ferraille en vrac
- Aluminum (USA) : /É™Ëˆlu.mÉ™.nÉ™m/ Aluminium
- Aluminium(GB spelling) /Ã¦l.jÉ™ËˆmÉªn.i.É™m/ Aluminium
- Mill : /mil/ Moulin
- Staggering : /stÓ•É¡É™ring/ StupÃ©fiant