Pittsburgh-based Alcoa has announced a goal to increase the national used beverage can (UBC) recycling rate to 75 percent by 2015. According to the company, the rate is currently 52 percent.
“The aluminum industry must work together for common sustainability goals that transcend individual commercial objectives, and we must approach this with a sense of urgency,” said Greg Wittbecker, director of corporate metal recycling strategy for Alcoa, in a press release. “It’s all about recapturing this pool of energy before it is lost to the landfill.”
Since peaking in 1992 at 68 percent, the UBC recycling rate has steadily declined. The reasons for the decline, Wittbecker said, include inconvenient collection systems, technology stagnation in coated scrap processing and commercial objectives that have not been aligned with advertising.