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Where do all the aluminium drinks cans go?

You’ve just enjoyed a refreshing cool drink or maybe a cold iced tea, perhaps from a UK Vending machine. That empty aluminium can in your hand has the potential for an exciting second life. Ever wondered what happens to it after you toss it into the recycling bin? Well, it’s a pretty cool process.

Once that can finds its way to a collection point or recycling centre, its adventure begins. These facilities serve as hubs for recyclables gathered from various sources, like your home, schools, and local businesses. Here’s what happens next:

Sorting Magic: The cans are separated from other materials, like plastic, glass, and paper. This is done using a combination of manual and automated methods, involving conveyor belts, magnets, and air classifiers. It’s like a real-life sorting hat, but for recyclables!

Shredding and Cleaning: Our aluminium cans are then crushed and flattened into small flakes. To ensure they’re sparkling clean and ready for their next act, these flakes go through a thorough cleaning process to remove any leftover liquid or residue.

Melting Point: Once cleaned and shredded, the aluminium flakes are taken to the furnace. Here, they’re heated to super-high temperatures, way beyond the melting point of aluminium (around 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit or 660 degrees Celsius).

Casting New Life: In their molten state, these aluminium flakes are ready for transformation. Depending on the recycling facility’s needs, they can be cast into various forms, such as sheets, rods, or even new cans. Aluminium is so versatile that it can be reborn into a wide range of products.

Back to the Shelf: Remember that can you recycled? Well, it might just return to you as a shiny new soda or beer can. Recycling aluminium is an energy-efficient process, significantly reducing the environmental impact compared to producing it from raw materials.

Beyond the Can: But the aluminium’s journey doesn’t stop at new beverage cans. It’s also used in the automotive industry for making lightweight parts, in construction for durable building materials, and even in aerospace for its incredible strength-to-weight ratio. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of materials!

So, the next time you take a sip from a can, think about the incredible journey it’s been on – from your hand to being recycled and reborn as something new. Recycling aluminium isn’t just about reducing waste; it’s about conserving energy and resources, contributing to a more sustainable world.

In a nutshell, recycling aluminium cans isn’t just a small gesture; it’s part of a remarkable process that helps create a greener and more eco-friendly future. So, keep up the great work, recycle those cans, and sip your favourite beverages knowing that you’re part of a recycling adventure that benefits us all!

UK Vending Ltd, Fort Bridgewood, Maidstone Road, Rochester, Kent. ME1 3DQ. Company No: 00952912 VAT No: 203190022
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