Aluminum Recycling
(Adapted from Team Up for a Clean New York, by Curriculum Editorial Unit, Brooklyn, NY)


SUBJECT AREAS: social studies

CONCEPT: Aluminum can be recycled, resulting in savings of energy and resources.

OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to describe how aluminum is recycled.

MATERIALS: handout: How is Aluminum Recycled?

KEYWORDS: aluminum, recycling

BACKGROUND: Aluminum is a metal with many uses in our daily lives. Recycling aluminum is an easy and practical way to insure that we will always have enough to meet our needs. Recycling aluminum actually saves energy; 75 - 95% less energy is required to process aluminum from scrap than from its source in nature, bauxite ore. The following learning activity introduces aluminum recycling.

1. Have students study the diagram illustrating the recycling path of an aluminum can.
2. After reviewing the diagram, have the students explain their answers to the following questions:
a. What do you and your family buy in aluminum cans? (Include not only soda cans, but also containers for foods, pet foods, etc.).
b. What does your family do with them when they are empty?
c. Why is it important to recycle aluminum?
d. Have you ever seen aluminum cans on the ground along a road?
3. Complete the writing exercise which follows the diagram. Ask students to complete it, explaining what happened to the soda can.

FOLLOW-UP: Ask students to write letters to recycling firms for information on starting a recycling project.

How is Aluminum Recycled?

Aluminum is a metal used to make cans, foil, appliances, auto parts and thousands of other things we use every day. But like every other resource in nature, aluminum is in limited supply. How can we make sure that we will always have enough? Some state governments have passed the Beverage Container Return Law to promote the recycling of aluminum. Under the law, a five cent deposit is added to the price of drinks in aluminum cans or bottles. For every can or bottle you return, you receive a five cent refund.

The diagram below shows how an aluminum can could be recycled from trash into another usable container. Study the diagram, then list in the space below what happens in each step of the cycle.

1) Food Market _ _ _ 2) Child with Soda Can _ _ _ 3) Food Market

4) Recycling Center _ _ _ 5) Can Maker _ _ _ 6) Bottling Company







How does recycling help each one of us?

How does recycling help the community?


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