Hartlepool Borough Council

What happens to my recycling after collection?

Food tins and drinks cans

  • Page 4 of 10

Many of the food and drink products we buy are packaged in aluminium or steel cans. Both of these materials can be recycled over and over without losing quality to make new cans or into a range of other products.

Aluminium is melted down and formed into huge "ingots". These are then made into new cans and other aluminium products, such as car engine components. Amazingly it takes just 6 weeks to recycle a can, refill it and get it back on the shelf!

Steel is melted down and made into a variety of products including:

  • Bicycle frames
  • Pipes
  • Train tracks
  • Ship hulls
  • Cars
  • Bridges
  • Paperclips
  • Food and drinks cans

Aluminium is the most cost-effective material to recycle. All the scraps left over from the aluminium production process can be melted down and used again and again.

This short animation clip from Recycle Now shows how cans are recycled.


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