12 Jun '12, 12pm

Toward a Greener Soda Can

Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times Bales of aluminum cans awaiting pickup at a waste facility in Seattle. Of all the materials that are commonly dropped in recycling bins, aluminum is by far the most valuable. New aluminum sells for almost $2,000 a metric ton , so recycling old cans would seem to be profitable. It takes about 75,000 cans to make a metric ton, so each one should be worth about 2.5 cents. But recycling the cans turns out to be harder than it looks, because the basic soft drink or beer can is actually made of two kinds of aluminum. The bottom and sides are made from an aluminum sheet that is strong enough to be stamped into a round shape without tearing. For the top, which must be stiff enough to help the can retain its shape and withstand the bending force when it is opened, can makers blend aluminum with magnesium. When the two parts of the can ar...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/toward-a-greene...

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Green Blog: Toward a Greener Soda Can

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