Four Things You Didn't Know About Aluminum Recycling

Published by Christopher Braathen, Hydro Cassopolis Operational Director on Thursday, March 9, 2023 in Community

With discussions about climate change and using fewer natural resources increasingly taking center stage, it becomes more evident that accelerating a more circular economy is important to help protect the environment. For this transition to happen, we need to create high-quality products that can be recycled at the end of their lifetime.

Most people know the concept of recycling—putting something back into the production cycle so it can be used again. But many are also wondering, why don’t we recycle more, and are some materials more suited for recycling than others? Learn about the benefits of aluminum recycling, and the new state-of-the-art recycling plant starting production in Cassopolis in 2023.

Keeping the materials, products, or services we produce in circulation for as long as possible is important to eliminate the creation of waste. When materials or products eventually reach the end of their useful life, we need to ensure they are recycled and turned into new ones. This is also often referred to as a circular economy.

Many environmentally aware companies want to increase recycled material content in their products. In theory, most things can be recycled, but that is not the case in practice, and some materials are better suited for recycling than others.

Aluminum is one such material, but why is that? Here are four things you did not know about aluminum recycling, and why it’s an ideal material to create a more circular economy.

1. ALUMINUM IS INFINITELY RECYCLABLE, maintaining all its unique properties no matter how many times it’s recycled. Unlike many other materials, you can recycle aluminum right back into the same product it was before. It’s also highly corrosion-resistant, which means it does not rust.

2. RECYCLING SCRAP ALUMINUM REQUIRES ABOUT 5% of the energy used to produce primary aluminum, both saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

3. ALUMINUM IS LIGHTWEIGHT; something made of aluminum is only one-third the weight of a similar product made of steel, but it is just as strong.

4. OF ALL ALUMINUM EVER PRODUCED, 75% IS STILL IN USE, and getting this material back into the recycling loop, whether it’s coming from cars, buildings, or electronic devices, is crucial. The more we recycle, the more we lower emissions and the less new aluminum we need to make.

Aluminum Recycling Plant in Cassopolis Starts Production in 2023

The global aluminum and energy company Hydro is opening its state-of-the-art aluminum recycling plant in Cassopolis in 2023 as the first company to locate in Midwest Energy & Communication’s SMART Park. When completed, the plant will provide 70 new, local jobs and support automotive innovation. Hydro will invest an estimated $150 million in completing the project. Applications for the aluminum produced in Cassopolis will include critical automotive applications, other transportation uses, and consumer and building system applications.