Facts To Know About Recycling Of Aluminum

Aluminum recycling has numerous environmental, economical, and community benefits; it saves energy, time, money, and precious natural resources; it creates jobs and contributes to the funding of community services that improve the lives of millions of people.

Can Aluminum Pans be Recycled?

Aluminum trays and pans are completely recyclable. Simply wash or scrape the food off before tossing it in the recycling bin.

Aluminum trays and pans can also be washed and reused for cooking or baking multiple times, or they can be repurposed to store crafting materials or garage items. They can also be used as a tray or saucer for collecting water from a houseplant.

Aluminum is one of the most recyclable and, in fact, one of the most recycled materials available. Nearly 75 percent of all aluminum produced in the United States is still in use today, owing to recycling efforts and the fact that it can be recycled repeatedly without losing quality.

Recycling aluminum saves 95 percent of the energy used in the production of new aluminum, making it the most valuable item you can recycle.

How to Recycle Aluminum Foil?

Aluminum is one of today’s most recycled materials and is one of the most valuable recyclable materials, and it can be reprocessed into new aluminum in just 60 days.

While aluminum cans are simple to recycle, aluminum foil can be a little difficult. It depends on how clean it is and how well your community recycles it.

Aluminum Foil Recycling

Aluminum foil is technically recyclable and before recycling aluminum foil, make sure it is as clean as possible because grease or food residue can contaminate other recyclables during the process of recycling. While burns and holes will not affect the recycling market, any meats or sauces should be removed from the foil.

Before recycling the aluminum foil that you purchased and used for storage, separate the foil from the paperboard box and corrugated tube.

If the foil is mixed with other materials and cannot be separated (as in drink boxes, candy wrappers, and yogurt tops), it should be discarded. Foil that has been mixed with other materials is regarded as recycling contamination.

Form a ball out of all the foil sheets. This keeps the material easily separated from other products and keeps it from blowing away (aluminum foil is a very light material).

The aluminum is crushed and baled before it is added to a metal recycler. At this point, the aluminum is cleaned and melted into sheets of aluminum, from which aluminum cans or foil products can be manufactured.

Some waste haulers will not accept aluminum foil for recycling, in part due to contamination concerns and the fact that most people are unlikely to rinse their aluminum foil before recycling it. It is because the damage soiled aluminum foil causes to other recyclables can outweigh the benefits of recycling the aluminum foil.

How to Reuse Aluminum Pans?

Aluminum pans can be recycled. But, before you toss them in the recycling bin, see if you can put them to better use and add uniqueness to your lifestyle.

Here are some reuse and upcycling ideas for those old aluminum pans, ranging from practical to crafty.

Crafts Using Pie Pans

Aluminum pans are ideal for crafting, especially when working with young children. Use them as paint palettes. Alternatively, while working on a project with the kids, store your beads, glitters, and glues in them.

After you’ve finished crafting, simply wash and dry your pan with warm water. After that, you can either save it for future crafts or throw it away.

Planter for the Garden

Although this isn’t an idea for reusing pie pans, we thought we’d include it because you may have some large aluminum pans that you’d like to reuse before recycling them.

When starting seedlings in the spring, these larger pans can hold multiple seed pots. They’ll hold water, and the pans’ higher edges will keep your seedlings upright and stable.

Feed the Squirrels and the Birds

During the cold winter months, birds, squirrels, and other wildlife have a difficult time finding their food. Make a low-cost feeder out of an aluminum pie pan to give back to the friendly critters of your yard.

Simply place the pan on a flat surface outside, weigh it down with a rock from your yard, and fill it with your favorite bird seed. If the squirrels don’t eat it all first, your feathered friends will thank you perhaps with a chirp or two.

Can nonstick skillets be recycled?

While the Teflon-like coating is present, most pans cannot be recycled. However, some recycling companies will accept the pans and remove the nonstick surface for you. We recommend contacting your local recycling center and asking if they accept nonstick cookware.

Is it possible to recycle rusted metal?

Metals that have been damaged or rusted can usually still be recycled. One important thing to remember is that the total value of your scrap is determined by weight. Rusted metal will likely weigh less than non-rusted scrap of the same size.

What metals are not recyclable?

Uranium and Plutonium are the most common (and obvious) non-recyclable metals. These are known as radioactive metals. You will never see or come into contact with Uranium or Plutonium unless you are a scientist, physicist, armed services engineer, or some secret government nuclear power mastermind.


Aluminum recycling is a simple and straightforward process, but it is extremely efficient. Aluminum is all around you, whether you realize it or not, and while other metals have become obsolete, aluminum should remain useful indefinitely. You can be confident that your aluminum will be put to good use if you recycle it.

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