Aluminum is one of the most precious of all recyclable resources, and this is due to its outstanding properties and characteristics. Below are several reasons why aluminum stands out as a metal and why it is worth your while to recycle it.
Basic Facts about Aluminum
Aluminum is an element in the same family as boron, gallium and several other metallic elements. Aluminum is a metal, bearing 13 electrons, and it is actually the third most common element on earth, only behind oxygen and silicon.
In fact, nearly ten percent of the earth is composed of aluminum. However, aluminum is not usually available for use in its pure form due to its high level of chemical reactivity; most of the time, aluminum must be extracted from aluminum oxide, or alumina. This process involves the use of a lot of electricity, as the raw alumina undergoes a process known as smelting.
Why Aluminum Is a Special Recyclable
Aluminum also has other amazing properties and benefits, and below are the reasons why you should always make it a priority to recycle aluminum at a place like Weidle G F Sanitation:
Aluminum Recycling Benefits Other Recycling Programs
From a purely economic standpoint, recycling aluminum is the most important residential recycling activity. Though prices of aluminum scrap vary, depending on general economic conditions and supply and demand factors, it is the most profitable of all conventionally recycled materials originating in households.
For example, glass and paper scrap is far less valuable than aluminum. That means the financial rewards reaped by recycling aluminum subsidize the overall recycling process. For certain products, like glass, there is little or no financial value, and aluminum is vital to funding an entire residential recycling program.
Aluminum Can Be Endlessly Recycled
Another trait that sets apart aluminum is its ability to be recycled endlessly. Other metals, as well as most other non-metals, cannot be recycled over and over again without losing their integrity. That means there is an "end of the road" for all other materials, while aluminum keeps being used over and over again without negative effects on the metal.
To provide perspective on the special nature of aluminum recycling, between two-thirds and three-fourths of aluminum ever manufactured in the United States is still in use today. No other material can claim the title for being recycled so frequently.
Aluminum Is Lightweight, Yet Strong
Aluminum is known for its lightweight properties, and this is one attractive reason for manufacturers to make soda cans as light as possible, for example. Compared to steel, aluminum weighs only approximately a third of a comparable unit of steel.
Remarkably, aluminum is also incredibly strong when compared to a unit of mass. Coupling the lightweight nature of aluminum with its strength reveals a metal that excels in a variety of ways.
For example, aluminum is strong enough to withstand the heat and pressure generated by a car engine. Other uses where aluminum shines is its ability to be crafted into aircraft, building construction materials and of course, drinking cans for the beverage industry.
Aluminum Is Highly Conductive
While most people think of "copper" whenever they associate a metal with wiring, they often don't know that aluminum is a far superior conductor per unit weight. Aluminum is less expensive than copper, yet it can out-conduct it in certain circumstances. For example, most large, high voltage power lines are composed of aluminum due the their high conductive properties and relative low weight.
Aluminum is Non-Toxic
Another huge plus of using aluminum is its non-toxic nature. Aluminum can be ingested into humans without ill effects, and can also be safely used in cookware, medical equipment and other devices that involve intimate human contact.