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What To Recycle

There are many aluminum products that can be recycled. These include cans, foil, pie plates, and food cans. Outside the kitchen even more aluminum can be found for recycling. You can recycle brass, copper and steel products as well.

  • Aluminum Automobile Wheels
  • Aluminum Awnings
  • Aluminum Barbecue Grills
  • Aluminum Baseball Bats
  • Aluminum Bikes
  • Aluminum Bumpers
  • Aluminum Canoes
  • Aluminum Radiators
  • Aluminum Downspouts
  • Aluminum Fence
  • Aluminum Gutters
  • Aluminum Ladders
  • Aluminum Lawn Mower Housings
  • Aluminum Painted Siding
  • Aluminum Picture Frames
  • Aluminum Pots and Pans
  • Aluminum Storm Doors
  • Aluminum TV Antennae
  • Aluminum Windows
  • Aluminum Yard Furniture
  • Old Aluminum Venetian or Mini Blinds
  • Brass Beds
  • Brass Faucets
  • Brass Musical Instruments
  • Brass Radiators
  • Ornamental Brass
  • Copper Faucets
  • Copper Cookware
  • Copper Radiators
  • Copper Tubing
  • Copper Wire - Bare and Insulated
  • Steel Swimming Pool Walls
  • Steel Storage Building Parts
Scrap metal 3

Why Recycle Aluminum?

Aluminum is 100% recyclable.

Aluminum recycling is a big energy saver. Recycling saves 95% of the energy needed to make new aluminum from ore. Recycling conserves natural resources. Every pound of aluminum recycled, eliminates the need to mine and process four pounds of bauxite ore.

Recycling saves landfill space. And, the collection of cans reduces litter tremendously.

Every three months, the U.S. throws away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial airline fleet.

Recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than making new aluminum from bauxite ore.

We throw away enough iron and steel to continuously supply all of America's auto makers.

Metal is melted down and reformed into new products such as cans, automobile parts, siding, appliances, and building materials.

What is one of the best ways to collect used aluminum beverage cans?
The easiest way to collect cans is to ask family members and friends to save used cans for you. In order to be successful you must attempt to change people's habits. Inform everyone that the cans they save will help the environment; and if you are collecting for a fund-raiser, they are supporting a worthy cause.

Where are some other good places to look for cans?
You could also look for cans where people consume beverages -- events, schools, playgrounds, businesses. Establish collection routes in your neighborhood -- ask merchants to place a box near vending machines with a recycle sign. Do not go door-to-door in an unknown neighborhood unless you are accompanied by an adult.

How should I store the cans before taking them to a recycling center?
Make sure the cans are clean. Crushing cans will help you save storage space but is not necessary.. Also, remember to keep the pull-tabs on your cans. Use a small magnet to make sure all your cans is aluminum. The magnet won't stick to the bottom or side of an all-aluminum can. Store your collection in plastic bags -- it makes it easier to handle and transport.

What happens at the recycling center?
After you hand your cans to the operator, you will watch as they are weighed. You are then paid on the spot!

How many empty Aluminum cans make up a pound?

At present there are nearly 32 - 12 ounce beverage cans in a pound. This is up from the original 23 per pound because the cans have gotten thinner as technology improved.

What are my metal recyclables worth?
The prices for non-ferrous metals (aluminum, copper, brass zinc, etc.) vary greatly depending on the commodity price or demand for new metal. Scrap Prices also vary depending on geography, on how far away you are from a mill that consumes the materials. The best way to check a price is to call us and ask for our current prices.

Why buy recycled products?
Purchasing recycled products creates markets for the recovered materials used in these products. This action fosters sustainability and conserves natural resources and energy. In addition, purchasing recycled products promotes the continued manufacturing of these products, this completing the recycling loop.


Steel is also mined from an ore. Iron ore is plentiful but it too is usually combined with oxygen or sometimes carbon or sulfur. The iron ore is stripped in a blast furnace to reduce it to pig iron that can then be used in steel production.There are currently about 11Mt per year of iron and steel scrap.  About 70% of this scrap is recovered. Of the remainder - 2/3 is landfilled.

Steel Facts and Figures

  • Each year, North America recycles more steel than plastic combined.
  • Americans use 100 million steel cans every day.
  • The steel industry has been recycling for over 150 years.
  • The steel industry's largest source of raw material is scrap metal, which is commonly collected by recycling steel.
  • Recycling steel saves 75 percent of the energy that would be used to create steel from raw materials, enough to power 18 million homes.
  • Over 65 percent of the steel produced in the U.S. is recycled into new steel every year.
  • One ton of recycled steel saves 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
  • A steel frame for a 2000 square-foot, two-story house is equivalent to the material of about six recycled cars; a comparable wooden frame would take over 40 trees to produce.
  • A typical household appliance (also known as a "white good") is produced using approximately 65 percent steel.
  • Steel cans contain at least 25 percent recycled steel, with many nearly reaching 100 percent recycled content.
Every ton of steel packaging recycled makes the following environmental savings:
  • 1.5 tons of iron ore
  • 0.5 tons of coal
  • 40% of the water required in production
  • 75% of the energy needed to make steel from virgin material
  • 1.28 tons of solid waste Reduction of air emissions by 86%
  • Reduction of water pollution by 76%

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A Recycling Center
1009 Fontaine Road
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: 803-786-6690
Business Hours:
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m.-noon
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