Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How long does it take for an aluminum can to decompose?

We talk a lot about recycling. The benefits to the environment, items you can recycle, items you can reuse and much more. Although this is important conversation, it’s shocking to hear the how long it takes these items to decompose when you don’t recycle. 
It’s shocking when you hear how long aluminum can will sit in a landfill. It’s shocking to hear how much goes into landfills each year in the United States. There are items thrown into landfills every single day that could be recycled. Often times all it takes is for people to start thinking outside the blue box. 
For the next few posts we’re going to discuss common recyclable items and how long it takes for them to break down when we decide to ditch the blue bin. We’ll start with a well-known item that most probably thinks of first when they hear the word recycle. The Aluminum can. 
You may already know that if recycled, aluminum cans will be back on the shelf within 60 days. You may not know that if not recycled, aluminum cans will sit in a landfill for 500 years before it oxidizes. Imagine if that can had been recycled how many times it could have been used and the amount of virgin resources that could’ve been saved. 
Fast Facts on Aluminum:
  1. It is infinitely recyclable.
  2. It is back on the shelf within 60 days
  3. Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy than using virgin materials
  4. Twenty recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore
  5. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your       television for three hours.
So next time you consider tossing that aluminum can into the trash, consider these facts and think of how much needed landfill space, energy and materials you’ll be saving by taking a few extra steps to recycle.
Metro Recycling is dedicated to providing quality service while helping maintain a sustainable environment. For more information on our locations, hours and other acceptable recyclables visit our website,
Metro Recycling will accept and pay for your aluminum cans. Print off this coupon and bring it on your next visit to one of our facilities for 5 cents more per pound on aluminum cans. Taking care of the environment is everyone's responsibility. Do your part today. 


  1. Wow, i never realized that aluminum was constantly recyclable. It really makes me want to take every single can i see a recycle it. Very good information to know to inspire others to start recycling more.

  2. There are so many things that should be recycled. By recycling we can put less trash in landfills and reuse it instead. This is a great way to improve our environment and takes minimal effort.

  3. How much do you pay per can or per pound? Also, do you prefer them crushed?

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  5. Thanks for this information. Very good information to know to inspire others to start recycling more

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