The rate is more than double that of any other beverage container, the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) said.
Nearly 56 billion aluminum cans were recycled in 2010, leading to a used beverage container (UBC) recycling rate of 58.1%—the highest in 11 years.
Because it takes 95% less energy to produce a can from recycled material, the high recycling rate also resulted in energy savings. The amount of energy saved just from recycling cans in 2010 is equal to the energy equivalent of 17 million barrels of crude oil, or nearly two days of all US oil imports.
Steve Larkin, President, The Aluminum Association said: “Of course we must do more at the federal, state and local levels to enact recycling policies and awareness, and this is a task we continue to pursue aggressively. We continue to look for partners who are also sincere about making a real change in how we approach recycling in the US today.”
In 2008, the Aluminum Association adopted a goal of recycling 75% of aluminum cans by 2015. The recycling rate at that time was 54.2%, and it has been gradually climbing upward since then; the 2009 UBC recycling rate was 57.4%.