Yes We Can

The aluminum can recycling rate climbed to 57.4 percent in 2009, according to a report issued by the Aluminum Association, the Can Manufacturers Institute and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. In 2008, the recycling rate for the cans was 54.2 percent.

Last year, approximately 55.5 billion aluminum cans were recycled, up from about 53.2 billion in 2008, the trade groups say.

"The scrap recycling industry continues to play a vital role in maintaining a steady supply of aluminum for America's manufacturing economy while also being a strong environmental steward," said Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, in a press release.

In other recycling news:

  • Oregon's landfill diversion rate reached 48.4 percent in 2009, up ever so slightly from 48.3 percent one year earlier, according to figures recently released by the state's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Approximately 4.7 million tons of solid waste were generated in the state last year. That figure represents a 10.5 percent decrease from 2008's total.

    "While people appear to be generating less trash, we also know there's much more that can be recycled," said Mary Lou Perry, solid waste specialist and report coordinator for DEQ, in a press release. "We're not sure if the decline in total waste generation is mainly a reflection of the down economy, or if it's due to more awareness of sustainability issues such as waste prevention and material recovery."