Mike Jenny spoke with reporter Maura Keller at American Recycler about the declining rate of aluminum recycling.
According to the Aluminum Association, more than 75 percent of the aluminum ever made is still in use today because it can be recycled over and over again. Virtually all of the aluminum used in cars, buildings, airplanes, and similar industrial products is recycled. Even though aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage package in the U.S. with a 10 to 20 point recycling rate advantage against glass and plastic, per the Aluminum Association, “the consumer recycling rate for aluminum cans, which measures the amount of domestic aluminum can scrap recycled as a percentage of cans available for recycling, declined significantly in 2016 to 49.4 percent.”
Jenny provided background on the stagnant market stating, “In the primary scrap grades, price spreads are widening, meanwhile, secondary grades are abundant and demand is slow. Absent a major change in policies or production-driven demand, I suspect we’re near the bottom in terms of pricing.”
He went on to delve into the various factors keeping prices lingering at multi-year lows before discussing various legislative efforts being undertaken to effectively aid the industry.