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Uses of Recycled Aluminum

written by: Lara Stewart•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 1/12/2011

What uses are there for recycled aluminum? Many people know that aluminum can be recycled, but did you know that the uses of recycled aluminum extend far beyond beverage cans? Read on to find more products made from recycled aluminum and where to find them online.

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    While you may know that recycling is important, one thing you might wonder when recycling is “what uses are there for recycled aluminum?" Here you’ll learn some important facts about the recycling of aluminum as well as some products that are frequently made of recycled aluminum and where to find them.

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    Recycling Aluminum, What Are The Benefits?

    One of the best things about aluminum recycling is that aluminum is one of the few materials that does not sacrifice structural integrity by going through the recycling process. This means that aluminum can be recycled continuously without degrading. Another benefit of recycling aluminum is it is far more cost and energy efficient to recycle it rather than to create new aluminum from ore. By making the choice to recycle aluminum rather than discard it, individuals help eliminate the need for new ore to be processed, creating a closed system where used aluminum can be recycled and used repeatedly.

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    Products Made With Recycled Aluminum

    Can The most obvious source for recycled aluminum is the millions of soda and beverage cans that people go through yearly. Many of these cans, once recycled, go directly back into the manufacturing of new cans. Consumers can help support this kind of closed-loop recycling by purchasing soda in cans rather than plastic bottles and recycling all their empty cans.

    Another major outlet for recycled aluminum is the automotive industry. Aluminum is an extremely strong, yet light, material that has become popular for the manufacturing of fuel-efficient vehicles. However, it can be hard to determine just how much of the material in any car comes from purely recycled sources.

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    Recycled Aluminum Around The House

    Due to the strength and durability of recycled aluminum, it is fast becoming a choice for household countertops and furniture. The aluminum used in countertops is usually derived from scrap metal sources and is available in a variety of finishes to match any kitchen. Two leading American distributors of the product are Renewed Materials LLC and Eleek Inc. which offer showrooms nationwide. Emeco is a worldwide distributor of chairs made from 80 percent recycled aluminum.

    Recycled aluminum is also becoming a popular material choice for a variety of household items. A simple online search can result in a variety of aluminum products from water bottles to makeup brushes to jewelry and even kitschy art. Novica provides a variety of recycled aluminum goods, and recycled aluminum jewelry can easily be found at sites such as Etsy or Cool Planet Store. Escama Studio has taken recycled to a designer level in the creation of jewelry and handbags made entirely from post-consumer “pop tabs".

    So, what uses are there for recycled aluminum? Many! The sky is the limit with this durable and reusable material. Whether used as a creative material source for beautiful jewelry, art, cars, or countertops, its versatility makes it an excellent choice for green shoppers everywhere.

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    Resources

    "Uses For Recycled Aluminum Cans" http://www.livestrong.com/article/122223-uses-recycled-aluminum-cans/

    "Recycling Aluminum Cans-Fun Facts" http://www.professorshouse.com/your-home/environmentally-friendly/recycling-aluminum-cans.aspx

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    Photo Credits

    "Aluminum Can" from: Patrick D http://www.flickr.com/photos/practik/346074327/