Aluminium is by far the easiest metal to recycle, and it makes both
economic and environmental sense. Every 1kg of aluminium recycled
saves approximately 8kg bauxite, 4kg process chemicals and 14kWh of
electricity. The energy used to make each kg of recycled aluminium
is only 5% of that needed to make primary ("new") aluminium.
All processing and manufacturing waste is recycled, and has been for some time. Process waste includes trimmings from edges of rolled sheets, ingots and extrusions. Manufacturing waste includes swarf from drilling and machining, and other off-cuts.
Aluminium is also recovered from vehicles, trains, aeroplanes, ships and buildings at the end of their useful life. Most of this is recycled.
Post-consumer waste is the most difficult to recycle because it needs
to be collected. Consumers need to be encouraged to separate recyclable
waste and take it to suitable collection points. Many local councils
are now organising recycling schemes in parallel with refuse collection,
but this still relies on the individual household being prepared to