The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) will make grants available in 2021 to Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) for aluminum can capture equipment, which will ensure used beverage cans (UBC) are accurately sorted, sold and recycled. Capturing and recycling aluminum cans provides a positive environmental and economic impact as metal recycles forever and UBCs are typically made into new cans.
Aluminum beverage cans currently provide critical revenue to MRFs. A CMI-funded study concluded that without the revenue from UBCs, most MRFs, which are vital to the U.S. recycling system since they sort single stream recyclables, would not be able to operate. But, while UBCs are typically the most valuable commodity in the residential recycling stream, up to 25 percent of UBCs are missorted at a typical MRF. These missorted cans can be captured with the right equipment, which would pay for itself with the additional revenue.
Directly funded by aluminum beverage can manufacturers Ardagh Group and Crown Holdings, the grant program will provide clear examples of the efficacy and revenue impact that additional aluminum can capture equipment can have for a MRF. The results are expected to encourage more MRFs to invest in additional aluminum can capture equipment. Further, Ardagh Group and Crown Holdings are exploring additional recycling programs that they, along with other partners, can implement to leverage additional aluminum can capture equipment in MRFs.
“With this new grant program, the aluminum beverage can industry is demonstrating its commitment to building on the industry’s leading beverage packaging recycling rates,” said CMI Vice President of Sustainability Scott Breen. “Capturing these missorted cans will result in significant additional revenue for recyclers and deliver significant carbon emissions reductions from greater use of recycled aluminum.”