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105 million aluminum beverage cans collected during America Recycles Day

During a 12 week period, over 105 million beverage cans, or more than 3 million pounds of recycled cans, raised over $2.3 million for Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Toys for Tots, local parks, other non-profit groups, schools and recycling programs through the Aluminum Can Council’s (ACC) America Recycles Day Challenge.

The America Recycles Day Challenge is a friendly, intra-industry contest where aluminum suppliers Alcoa Inc., Arco Aluminum and Novelis Inc. and beverage can manufacturers: Ball Corporation; Metal Container Corporation and Rexam compete to see which facility can recycle the most aluminum cans per employee. In 2009, 30 aluminum supplier and beverage can manufacturing facilities participated in the contest.

The 3 million pounds of aluminum recycled during the ACC ARD Challenge saved 196,576 MBTUs of energy, reduced the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by 2,314 cars driven in one year, saved 7,723 cubic meters of water and conserved 12,637 metric tons of GHG versus using new aluminum.1

The America Recycles Day Challenge continues to raise recycling awareness and reinforce the industry’s commitment to sustainability, the environment and supporting local businesses and charities in the community.  According to Robert Budway, president of the Can Manufacturers Institute, “ACC members really stepped up to the challenge in 2009, recycling 679 percent more aluminum beverage cans than they did in 2008.  This is such a positive example of sustainable initiatives.”  

Rexam’s Chatsworth, California beverage can plant recycled over 34 million aluminum beverage cans, or 1,010,118 pounds, to win the America Recycles Day Challenge.  This is a record since the inception of the America Recycles Day Challenge program in 2003.  The Chatsworth plant worked with local organizations, including a partnership with the Valley Recycling Center and the San Fernando Valley Habitat for Humanity, to incorporate recycling efforts into concerts, runs and other fundraisers.  

Second place went to Rexam’s beverage plant in Fairfield, California recycling 560,788 pounds of beverage cans.  Third place honors went to Rexam’s beverage can plant in St. Paul, Minnesota, recycling 565,087 pounds of beverage cans.   

The Novelis plant in LaGrange, Georgia bested the competition in the Mayor/Municipal Recycling Outreach Category, recycling 12,963 pounds of used beverage cans, or 1,296 pounds per employee.  ARCO Aluminum, Louisville, Kentucky was second, recycling 17,580 pounds, or 517 pounds per employee.

"We want to thank the ACC for initiating this industry-wide contest and giving the aluminum beverage can industry a platform to show our local communities how easy and important it is to recycle," said Andre Balbi, president and CEO, Rexam Beverage Can Americas. "We were very pleased with our plants’ efforts and we are proud to join U.S. can makers and aluminum sheet suppliers in asserting the aluminum can as the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly beverage package in the world."

 ACC ARD Challenge Environmental Benefits

•         Total Cans Recycled:  105,676,467

•         Total Pounds Recycled:  3,089,057

•         Equivalent energy in barrels of oil:  33,892

•         Length of Cans if Stacked End to End:  8,026 Miles

•         Value of Aluminum:  $2,316,789

(1)Source: Novelis – RecyclingCalculator (

Article source: Aluminum Can Council


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