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The aluminium can's recycling journey

08 June 2020

Have you ever wondered what happens to your aluminium can once you’ve guzzled the refreshing liquid and popped it into the recycling? Well, wonder no more as we take you through your can’s recycling journey. 

1)    Your aluminium cans journey begins 

The journey of your aluminium can starts when you rinse out the remaining drink and throw it into your recycling bin along with your other household recycling, ready for collection. 

2)    It takes a ride in a big truck

On your allocated bin day, the local refuse team will drive around the neighbour to collect your household recycling, including your aluminium can, by pouring it into their truck. Once the truck is full, all the recycling inside is driven to a treatment plant. 

3)    Inside the recycling facility 

Once the recycling arrives at the facility, it is sorted into different categories so only the right materials are fed to the right machines. The aluminium is sorted from the other materials using a big magnet and is then cleaned ready for reprocessing (this is what we do at our W&S depots).

4)     Aluminium reprocessing 

Once the aluminium has been sorted at the recycling facility, it is ready to be reprocessed. This involves melting it down into molten aluminium to remove any coatings and inks that decorated the outside of the can. It is then poured into special moulds where it cools and solidifies into big blocks called ingots. These ingots are huge and can contain around 1.6 million aluminium drinks cans! 

5)    Rolling out 

The ingots are then transported to mills where they are rolled out and flattened to make a sheet, which gives the aluminium greater strength and flexibility. 

6)    A new lease of life

These aluminium sheets can then be used to give the metal a new lease of life and be transformed into aluminium products, including chocolate wrappers, ready meal packaging, and even into another drinks can! 

Recycling your aluminium cans is a great way to save resources and reduce our carbon footprint. So, be sure to drop your next fizzy drinks can into the recycling and not the bin and you never know, you might be reunited with it again! 


W&S Recycling specialises in aluminium in both our Dorset and Oxfordshire depots where we help the recycling process by sorting and baling the metal before its processed. We offer a mixed can collection service across Dorset as well as deliveries to our sites in Poole, Bournemouth and Oxford. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 01202 675564.

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Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.

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