Metals are, in theory, the easiest and most infinitely recyclable materials used in consumer goods. And they provide some stark statistics. For instance, recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours. On the other hand, when you trash one aluminum can you waste as much energy as if you’d filled the same can half-full of gasoline and poured it out on the ground. And yet, America only recycles about half of its aluminum cans each year!
The good news is, nearly all curbside and neighborhood recycling programs accept aluminum and steel cans. If you don’t have curbside recycling and need to find a drop-off center:
Also, a simple web search or a look in the phone book will turn up a scrap metal recycling company in nearly every Texas town that will take the metal products your city won’t accept — and they’ll usually pay you for it, too. So recycle away.
In some states, aluminum recycling rates are 80-90%. We’re far behind that curve. By no coincidence, states with bottle deposit systems have beverage container recycling rates that dwarf ours — and there are efforts to bring such a system to Texas. Learn more about improving beverage container recycling here.