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How Much Does Metal Matter?

Metal is responsible for so much of how we live, work, and play, but are we being responsible about how we use it?

Updated On 06/29/2017 | Originally Published On 05/20/2015

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Weighing in at more than 23 million tons, disposed metals made up 9% of the total municipal waste stream in the US
Metal cans are used for packaging food and other items mainly because their shininess stands out on the shelves.
Mining for new materials can be more energy efficient than sending used metal through the recycling process.
There’s big economic opportunity in metal recycling. In fact, the aluminum industry pays out more than $800 million a year for recycled cans.
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More than 100,000 aluminum cans are recycled each minute in the US. That’s a lot of metal, but considering how much metal is actually being produced each year, we can bring this number up even more! Learn more about the effects of mining, producing, and recycling common metals. Take the quiz!

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  • Audrey N. 4 months ago
    Why don’t all states have cash back for bottle returns? It would give people a lot more incentive to return/recycle bottles and cans.
  • Debra T. 1 year ago
    Yeah me, I know how important and valuable metal recycling is! And, I'm learning alot more about recycling every time I visit this site.
  • Martha R. 1 year ago
    Recycling pays in more ways than one, the greater is helping our environment with energy savings .
  • B G. 2 years ago
    Recyclebank has given me a better understanding of how to recycle different materials.
  • Michael M. 2 years ago
    You’ll be surprised how many don’t recycle. I work as a porter and I dig through trash to recycle for the tenants who mix trash.
    • Debra T. 1 year ago
      That's sad, I have a few relatives who don't recycle. They just say "We don't have to recycle here", and they are very ignorant and stubborn.
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