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Alcoa Collects Record 16.1 Billion Used Aluminum Cans

March 14, 1989

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The Aluminum Company of America said Monday it collected a record 16.1 billion used aluminum beverage cans for recycling during 1988, up 35 percent over the 11.9 billion containers collected in 1987.

George L. Cobb Jr., president of Alcoa Recycling Co., said can collectors earned more than $248 million by returning the cans to one of Alcoa’s 1,800 participating recycling centers.

″Used beverage cans are not junk,″ he said. ″They are an increasingly valuable metal resource.″

Cobb said the cans, which weighed 597 million pounds, were remelted, rolled into new aluminum can sheet and sold to can makers. Half of the aluminum can sheet Alcoa shipped in 1988 was produced from recycled aluminum, he said.

Alcoa’s record can harvest was prompted by increased public participation and growing commitment to recycling by brewers, soft drink bottlers, supermarkets and can companies, Cobb said.

He estimated that 4 million Americans recycle cans regularly, with millions more recycling part-time.

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