The Aluminum Recyclers Council’s mission is to advance and grow the North American aluminum recycling industry and promote sustainable aluminum alloy products.
As more people become environmentally conscious, recycling becomes increasingly important. This is true of any industry, including the aluminum industry. The aluminum recycling industry is playing an important role in lessening negative impacts of growth and industrial development on our environment by converting scrap generated through the manufacturing process and at end-of-product-life into high-quality raw material for subsequent operations.
Aluminum has positive sustainability benefits due to its recyclability. Although the production of primary aluminum is an energy-intensive process, aluminum recycling uses just 5% to 8% of the energy required to produce primary aluminum. This makes aluminum scrap recycling even more impactful.
- Over 1 billion tons of primary aluminum has been produced since 1888, when the production of aluminum began; 75% of all that aluminum ever produced is still in productive use today!
- In North America, the industry recycles approximately 5 million tons of aluminum each year.
- Each ton of aluminum recycled saves:
- 24 barrels of crude oil equivalent of energy
- More than 9 tons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions
- 2.5 tons of solid waste (including recyclable solid waste)
Because of aluminum’s infinite recyclability, the cycle from raw material to customer product forms a continuous loop. Closed-loop recycling of aluminum was commonplace well before the idea of recycling became widespread. Importantly, recycling of aluminum safeguards and supports the supply of raw materials in the region in which it was generated, saving both resources and energy that translates to lower production costs for manufacturers. Simply too much aluminum scrap is exported from the United States. Given the savings we could enjoy and the benefits of a more sustainable planet, we need to ask why we cannot create programs to encourage the DOMESTIC consumption of our scrap! So let's not export this much needed energy and work together towards creating a stronger voice in North American Aluminum Recycling - building U.S. Jobs!
A STRONGER VOICE IN RECYCLING