The American Recycling Rate for aluminum cans increased by 2.2 percent — the largest rate increase in 10 years. According to an annual study by the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Aluminum Association in Arlington, Va., and the Washington-based Can Manufacturers Institutes (CMI), Americans recycled nearly 54 billion cans in 2007, for a recycling rate of 53.8 percent.
“I think that the increase in recycling is likely due to an increase in consumer awareness of the environment and green issues,” says Stephen Gardner, vice president of communications for the Aluminum Association. “It's also due to an increase in the commitment from industry to increase recycling rates.”
Since a drop from 62.1 percent in 2000 to 50 percent in 2003, the U.S. recycling rate for aluminum cans has slowly rebounded. In 2006, Americans recycled 52 billion cans for a rate of 51.6 percent.“The scrap recycling industry is pleased with the year-over-year growth,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, in a press release. “The value of the all-aluminum can as a recyclable commodity can only increase.”
According to the study, the aluminum can is the most recycled beverage container in the United States.
“This increase in the recycling rate demonstrates the serious commitment to recycling by the aluminum industry,” said Kevin Anton, chairman of the Aluminum Association, in a press release. “The aluminum can is environmentally sustainable. Our industry is committed to doing the right thing and continuing to work to increase the number of aluminum cans recycled annually.”