An Alcoa study of consumer recycling behavior found that more than a third of aluminum cans used away-from-home were used in the workplace. And of those cans, between 33 and 50 percent of them were not recycled. Getting businesses to offer recycling access for their employees is one important way we can move the needle toward our goal of capturing at least 75% of the cans used in the US! That’s why we are so excited about Alcoa Foundation’s sponsorship of Keep America Beautiful’s Recycling at Work campaign – part of Alcoa Foundation’s Action to Accelerate Recycling commitment at the Clinton Global initiative. Has your business taken the pledge? What are you waiting for?
New ‘Alcoa Recycling’ Group to Leverage Alcoa’s Leadership to Increase Re-Use of Aluminum
Alcoa announced it will combine its group charged with recycling aluminum in the packaging market, Evermore Recycling, with its aluminum scrap purchasing group which recycles aluminum used in other markets such as aerospace, automotive, and industrial into a single organization -- “Alcoa Recycling” – to further increase the amount of aluminum that is converted back into new products.
Across its used beverage container (UBC’s) and aluminum scrap groups, Alcoa recycled approximately 1.4 billion pounds of external aluminum in 2012. By combining the two groups into Alcoa Recycling, the company will be able to leverage their strengths and go to the market in a singular, focused manner, said Michael Boyle, Director of Metal Management at Alcoa who will oversee the combined group. “The vast majority of our partners in the marketplace have the capability to supply both scrap and UBC’s to Alcoa for recycling. This new organization will now interface with the market as one entity,” said Boyle.
The new Alcoa Recycling organization will work with customers across markets to build upon the large number of closed-loop recycling programs the company has with customers, as well as implement supply chain efforts with suppliers to increase aluminum recycling.
Alcoa last month announced a closed-loop recycling program with Boeing that will significantly increase the reuse of internal aluminum aerospace alloys from the production of Boeing airplanes. At the outset, approximately 8 million pounds of high-value 2XXX and 7XXX series aluminum alloys are expected to be recycled annually. The program also lays the groundwork for expansion of the effort to capture scrap from Boeing sub-contractors. Similar programs have been underway for years across Alcoa’s customer base.
Alcoa has a long history of driving recycling efforts and leveraging the infinite recyclability of aluminum. For example, on average, can stock product from Alcoa's Tennessee Operations contains approximately 90 percent total recycled content. And Alcoa's packaging products have been Cradle-to-Cradle Certified for several years. The Cradle-to-Cradle standard is a multi-attribute, continuous improvement methodology that represents the most comprehensive sustainability product quality mark available. The newly aligned Alcoa Recycling group will work with Alcoa businesses to further drive these types of efforts.
Alcoa has been a leader in recycling of aluminum since it helped create the modern-day aluminum industry in 1888. Aluminum, unlike other materials, is infinitely recyclable and doesn’t lose any of its characteristics or durability when recycled. In fact, approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in use today.