Metal matters when it comes to recycling

Metal matters when it comes to recycling

Merton Council is playing its part in the ‘Metal Matters’ campaign to encourage people to recycle more metal packaging such as tins, cans, aerosols, foil metal bottle tops and jar lids. Leaflets will be dropping through local letterboxes over the next few weeks to advise householders that, when it comes to recycling, metal really does matter.

The leaflets remind people that every piece of metal packaging put out for recycling will be used again and again for years to come. And every time it’s recycled it saves energy, cuts carbon emissions – and cuts costs to taxpayers, as recycling is far cheaper than landfill.

‘Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves nine tonnes of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of driving nearly 3000 miles,’ said Councillor Andrew Judge, Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration. ‘Every tonne of recycled steel saves 40% of the water required for virgin steel, saves half a tonne of coal, and uses only a quarter of the energy.

‘Whilst most residents already recycle their food and drink cans, the Metal Matters campaign highlights the fact that sweet and biscuit tins, empty aerosols, foil trays, kitchen foil, metal bottle tops and jar lids can also be recycled.’

The campaign is being delivered through the South London Waste Partnership – a group of four councils (Croydon, Kingston Merton and Sutton) that are working together to provide improved waste management services to local people.

The cost of running the campaign is being met by Recycle for London, Viridor (the company that provides recycling, composting and residual waste treatment services to the Partnership) and a partnership made up of organisations and businesses from the metal packaging and recycling industry; it is being managed on their behalf by Alupro (the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation).

Alupro Executive Director Rick Hindley said: ‘We have seen the Metal Matters campaign deliver fantastic results in other parts of the country, but this is the first time the campaign will have been run anywhere in London, so I’m excited to see what difference it can make.’


Notes to Editors:

Metal facts:

– Recycling a tonne of steel saves 1.5 tonnes of iron ore and reduces CO2 emissions by 80%;
– Recycling a tonne of aluminium saves 9 tonnes of C02 emissions and 4 tonnes of bauxite – the raw material from which aluminium is made;
– Metal can be recycled without any loss of quality or strength because its atomic structure doesn’t change when melted – metal can be recycled indefinitely;
– Making aluminium cans from recycled metal is 20 times more energy efficient than using ‘primary’ metal;
– Recycling seven cans saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 26 hours;
– In as little as six weeks, the empty can you put in your recycling could be transformed and back on the supermarket shelf.