NEW YORK: The United States. used aluminum beverage can recycling rate reached 65.1 percent in 2011, up 7 percentage points from 2010, according to the Aluminum Association (Arlington, Va.), Can Manufacturers Institute (Washington, D.C.), and ISRI.
Though U.S. shipments of new aluminum cans declined almost 3 percent from 2010 to 2011, to 93.6 billion cans, the number of cans collected for recycling rose roughly 9 percent, to about 61 billion cans, the associations report.
Imported UBCs were “a large part of the increase in the recycling rate,” the groups say, with the volume of imported UBCs increasing almost 26 percent from 2010 to 2011, to 330 million pounds. In the last several years, the steady growth in imports has had an increasingly significant impact on the overall U.S. recycling rate, the associations report.
US exports of UBCs also increased, rising 50 percent from 2010 to 2011, to approximately 93 million pounds. Both imported and exported UBCs are counted in calculating the U.S. recycling rate. The U.S. aluminum can industry’s goal is to achieve a 75-percent UBC recycling rate by 2015.