GEL Recycling has received a grant from the US Can Manufacturer’s Institute (CMI) for its aluminium beverage can recovery operation.
The Florida-based plant will employ the funds to buy metal detectors for its optical sorting system, an upgrade that will allow the facility to process 3,5 million previously missorted aluminium beverage cans.
Aluminium cans are the world’s most recycled drinks packages-this is because the material does not degrade after multiple recycling bouts, thereby enabling the generation of a virtually infinite series of beverage containers. The recycling process itself is also 5% less energy intensive than the one that serves to produce virgin aluminium.
Yet 25% of aluminium drink containers in the country are missorted, leading to their improper disposal via landfill-in 2018 alone, 45,2 billion used aluminium beverage containers worth $800 million were sent to landfill.
This can be considered a waste of resources seeing as the market for aluminium scrap is currently booming.
Secondary aluminium is usually in demand in the transportation, packaging, engineering as well as in the building sector.
The grant rounds offered by CMI in tandem with The Recycling Partnership are meant to bolster the capture and recovery of aluminium cans via investment in equipment (ex. robots) or process improvement activities. The specific upgrade enabled for GEL Recycling will allow the plant in question to produce enough energy for 1,4 million houses in 1 hour, expected annual revenue being $56000.
According to research (‘Aluminium Beverage Can: Driver of the U.S. Recycling System’) published by CMI last year, revenue garnered from recycling aluminium cans essentially serve to offset potential losses for material recovery facilities, and, as such, are crucial to the US residential recycling system as a whole. CMI’s aluminium beverage can capture grant program is based on this insight.
Additional grants are to be announced within the year.
The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States.