Constellium N.V. has announced that it has installed a new recycling furnace at its Muscle Shoals, Ala. facility in an effort to expand recycling capabilities in North America.

The now fully operational furnace is expected to increase the total recycling output by 170 million pounds, or about 5.2 billion additional used beverage cans per year. The Muscle Shoals facility will then be expected to recycle the equivalent of nearly 20 billion cans per year – almost one-fifth of the cans sold in the United States.

"This new furnace is a major step for our Muscle Shoals facility, great news for our customers and an exciting step forward in our commitment to promote recycling and sustainability," said Mike Tanchuk, president and CEO of the plant. "This increased recycling capacity will enable us to better leverage aluminium's infinite recyclable properties."

Joe Pampinto, Muscle Shoals' plant manager, added: "I am proud of the team who delivered this state-of-the-art equipment. The furnace is now fully operating and this added recycling capacity will increase the molten metal supply required for customer deliveries."

Using advanced technologies, the new furnace, which meets the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) environmental requirements, is expected to improve the safety, energy efficiency and environmental footprint of the plant.

Known as Element 13, the recycling facility at the Muscle Shoals plant is one of the largest recyclers of used beverage containers in the world. This capacity, which enables the plant to recycle products at their end-of-life (EOL) as well as scrap from customers, contributes to Constellium's overall engagement to 'close the loop' in beverage can recycling. Constellium is part of the Sustainable Committee of the American Aluminum Association and works closely with the Can Manufacturers Institute to raise environmental awareness and promote recycling within communities.