The aluminum can recycling rate for 2012 hit 67 percent, the highest rate since the early 1990s, according to a new report.
The latest findings reflects progress toward the industry’s goal of a 75-percent recycling rate by 2015, according to a news release on data released by the Arlington, Va.-based Aluminum Association, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), both of Washington.
In 2012 the U.S. aluminum can industry recycled about 62 billion domestic and imported cans. It is the second highest rate reported since the survey began in 1972, the groups said.
Much of the increase in the industry's recycling rate in recent years has been fueled by can imports. Because of aluminum cans’ higher value and the closed loop aspect, they easily can cross borders, the groups said.
"While it's encouraging that the industry is recycling at record levels there is still work to be done," said Heidi Brock, Aluminum Association president. "Increasing U.S. consumer recycling of aluminum cans remains a major opportunity to help the environment and the economy."
Added Robin Wiener, ISRI president, “The increased recycling rate for aluminum cans is representative of the growth in the scrap recycling industry as a whole."