Why you should never crush cans before putting them in the recycling

By Mirror | Tuesday, Apr 2nd 2019 at 15:11
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What do you do with your cans once you're done with them?

Hopefully, the answer is "pop them in the recycling ".

In which case, if you CRUSH your cans before doing so, then you need to stop.

Yes, as satisfying as stamping on or crushing a now-empty can of pop can be, you're actually invalidating the whole point of trying to recycle.

This warning comes from the senior director of public affairs at the Aluminum Association, Matt Meenan, in the US.

Matt told Recyclebank that the majority of refuse sorting facilities use a single-stream recycling system. This is where everything is mixed together then sorted.

The machine which sorts through the rubbish relies on material and shape.

So by crushing a can, it may no longer register what it is and put it in the non-recyclable pile.

The same process applies to recycling plants in the UK too, Metro revealed.

Sean Pettitt, the director of Purely Waste Solutions, explained: "If you put all of your recyclables in the same bin which then goes to a materials recovery facility to be segregated, it can make it harder for a squashed can to be separated.

"The reason for this is that it is easier for equipment to sort intact aluminium cans due to the larger surface area of the material for the eddy current separator to detect.

There is one instance, however, when you can crush your cans. According to Sean, if you already separate your recycling, with cans being placed together in their own bag or bin, then crushing your cans is totally fine.

He adds: "‘It would be beneficial to crush the cans to save space, to get more material in a container and make transportation more efficient."

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