The organisation is one of seven metals organisations based at the National Metalforming Centre in West Bromwich.

Depositing the first cans into the new collection box, Aluminium Federation chief executive Will Savage (pictured) commented: “As representatives of the aluminium sector, we thought we should set an example to our members and others. Aluminium is used widely to make food packaging – especially drinks cans - and can be recycled again and again, with no loss of quality. Around a third of drinks in cans are consumed outside the home, so do not get recycled through local authority kerbside collections.

“Aluminium was being collected to melt down for remanufacture long before the term ‘recycling’ was coined. Recycled aluminium has exactly the same properties as virgin material – but takes less than five per cent of the energy to produce.”

The can collection pack was provided by the Every Can Counts programme, which over the last six years has helped more than 1,700 organisations set up drinks can recycling at 4,000 locations across the UK, bringing the total of collection points in workplaces, shopping centres, hospitals and also at outdoor events to more than 10,000. The industry-funded Every Can Counts programme was developed and is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro), which is itself an ALFED member.

The UK produces more than nine billion drinks cans every year, more than 80% of which are aluminium. Even steel drinks cans have aluminium lids, to facilitate the ring pull mechanism.

Aluminium is a valuable metal due to its endless recyclability. It commands the greatest value per weight of any material collected at kerbside. Aluminium was singled out in the government’s latest Waste Review as a priority material for recycling, due to the high carbon savings achieved when recycled, compared to manufacturing virgin metal.