Recycling facilities to use grants for can capture equipment


Recycling facilities in North Carolina and Texas will use Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI)’s aluminium beverage can capture grants to install equipment that will result in 540 tons, more than 36 million aluminium beverage cans, per year being captured that were previously missorted. 

These recycling facilities are the initial recipients of a grant program made possible with the support of can manufacturers Ardagh Group and Crown Holdings. 

The Recycling Partnership helped select the grantees and will provide technical assistance to ensure successful implementation. 

The grant program builds off the CMI research released last year that found it is critical to capture all used beverage cans (UBC) flowing through material recovery facilities (MRF), which play the critical role in the U.S. recycling system of sorting recyclables. 

This research concluded that most MRFs in the United States would not be able to operate without the revenue from UBCs considering they are consistently the most valuable beverage package material in the recycling stream.

Due to the success of this initial round of grantees, a new round of applications to the pilot program has been added. The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, May 11. 

About the grant announcement, CMI president Robert Budway said: “It is important for the health of our nation’s recycling system to capture every aluminium beverage can for recycling. 

“Aluminium beverage cans provide 33 percent of the revenue to MRFs in non-deposit states, which is more than any other residential recyclable. 

“Additionally, CMI beverage can members, Ardagh and Crown, want all used cans back to make them into new cans using the infinitely recyclable aluminium. 

“Capturing missorted cans at the MRF is a cost effective way to capture the valuable aluminium from cans. The return on investment of capturing incremental used can volumes is so high that additional equipment MRFs install will pay for itself in a short period of time.”

The grant money provided to these two MRFs is being combined with other sources of funding at a ratio of more than one to ten. The two MRFs are operated by Independent Texas Recyclers (ITR), Houston, TX, and Curbside Management, Asheville, NC.

Capturing and recycling these more than 36 million aluminium cans each year will have a significant environmental and economic impact. These aluminium cans when sold will generate more than $500,000 in much needed revenue for MRFs.

When these cans are recycled, it will save more than 15 million kilowatt hours of energy and will avoid more than 3.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. 

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