ILKLEY & DISTRICT U3A

   


        Recyling Aluminium Foil

April 2020

It is vital that we recycle as much aluminium as we can.  Aluminium is produced from its ore using vast amounts of energy.  For this reason, aluminium smelters are usually sited in mountainous regions where there is a supply of cheaper hydroelectric power.

You probably already put aluminium cans into your recycling bin but what about aluminium foil? - what many of us still call 'tin foil' (We shouldn't, because there is no tin there and hasn't been for a long time!) First, quickly clean the foil of any scraps of food - it doesn't have to be spotless, just obviously not dirty.

Crush the foil into a small ball, but don't add it to the recycling just yet.  Keep it handy and add any further crushed foil until you have a ball about the size of a tennis ball.  This is much easier for the recyclers to deal with.  

If you have used the foil for roasting meat or for a barbeque and it has burnt on fat and meat juices, don't put it in the recycling - it will contaminate the whole batch.  Discard it in your general rubbish and it will go to incineration.

 

Sometimes it is not easy to decide whether a silver-coloured wrap is aluminium foil or not. Some foils, particularly those around biscuits, are metal-coated plastic and are not recyclable.  Use this easy 'Scrunch Test' to tell the difference.

 

Select or click here for the Bradford Council site which shows the 'Scrunch Test' in action. 

Select or click here to see the process involved in extracting aluminium from its ore.


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