Trillions of Cans

Aluminum Can Recycling Rates (1990-2010)

The U.S. aluminum can recycling rate dropped to 45.1% in the year 2004—
twenty percentage points below the 1992 peak of 65%.

NOTE: Recycling rates have been adjusted to reflect imported used beverage cans recycled in the U.S. but not produced or sold in the United States. In a letter dated April 7, 1999, Elizabeth Cotsworth, Acting Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste wrote, “…the methodology suggested by the Container Recycling Institute in determining aluminum can recycling rates is consistent with the recycling measurement methodology used by the EPA.” For an explanation of how these rates were calculated, please see our "Calculating Aluminum Recycling Rates" page.