Aluminum Can Recycling Rate Hits Ten Year Low

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 6, 2000

CONTACT: Pat Franklin, 703/276-9800
Executive Director

Aluminum Can Recycling Rate Hits Ten Year Low

ARLINGTON, VA (April 6, 2000) -- The Container Recycling Institute's data shows that the aluminum can recycling rate hit a ten year low of 55.2 percent in 1999, 5 percentage points below the 1997 rate of 60 percent. The 55.2 percent rate excludes imported scrap aluminum cans. CRI's calculations are based on statistics from the Aluminum Association and the U.S. Bureau of Census.

According to the Aluminum Association and Can Manufacturer's Institute the 1999 aluminum beverage can recycling rate was 62.5 percent. This number is inflated by approximately 12 percent, because it includes the imported scrap aluminum beverage cans - cans that were recycled in the U.S. but not sold in the U.S.

In 1997 the aluminum industry, led by ALCAN, announced an aluminum can recycling goal for the industry of 75 percent by 2001. Whether one accepts the inaccurate figures from the aluminum industry or the Container Recycling Institute's figures, which uses the USEPA's methodology and reflects the true recycling rate, the fact is we are further from that goal of 75 percent today than we were in 1997.

"It is our hope," said CRI executive director, Pat Franklin, "that the Aluminum Association and the Can Manufacturer's Institute will one day decide to stop inflating the aluminum can recycling rate so that the recycling industry and the public will have an accurate picture of aluminum can recycling in the U.S."

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NOTE: Copies of the following charts and graphs available upon request.

1) Aluminum Can Recycling Rate: 1990-1999
2) Calculating the 1999 US Aluminum Can Recycling Rate
3) Aluminum Can Recycling Rate: 1990-1999 (two methodologies)
4) Recycling Rate for Aluminum Cans - Sweden and USA