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  #1  
Old 03 February 2007, 03:54 AM
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Glasses Aluminum foil cannot be recycled?

Comment: I've been told by at least 2 friends of mine who are very much
into recycling and conservation that, ironic as it may seem, aluminum foil
is not recyclable. At least not in the same manner as aluminum cans.
Supposedly, the chemicals used in the process of creating aluminum foil
render it un-recyclable. Is this true?
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  #2  
Old 03 February 2007, 04:15 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Being how thing the materal is. I would think that oxidation of the aluminum foil before melting would be more of a problem.
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  #3  
Old 03 February 2007, 04:26 AM
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It seems you can recycle foil

Quote:
Anything made of aluminium can be recycled repeatedly: not only cans, but aluminium foil, plates and pie molds,
Perhaps your friends were thinking of this?

Quote:
Aluminium cans and foil have a different composition. Whilst the majority of cans will be recycled back into cans, aluminium foil will be reprocessed into alternative aluminium products.
Or

Quote:
Some packaging uses aluminium as a smell and taste barrier, whilst being sandwiched between layers of plastic as in some coffee packaging, or between layers of card and plastic as found in milk and juice cartons. The structure of these types of packaging make them very difficult and expensive to recycle.
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  #4  
Old 03 February 2007, 04:33 AM
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Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing in the Drizzle View Post
Being how thing the materal is. I would think that oxidation of the aluminum foil before melting would be more of a problem.
Aluminum is a special kind of material when it comes to oxidation. Unlike, for example, iron, it doesn't oxidize all the way through. Only the surface of aluminum oxidizes, forming a coat just a few atoms thick. That protects the aluminum from any further oxidation. So the amount of oxidation on a piece of foil vs. any piece of aluminum with the same surface area is almost exactly the same.
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  #5  
Old 03 February 2007, 04:56 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Aluminum is a special kind of material when it comes to oxidation. Unlike, for example, iron, it doesn't oxidize all the way through. Only the surface of aluminum oxidizes, forming a coat just a few atoms thick. That protects the aluminum from any further oxidation. So the amount of oxidation on a piece of foil vs. any piece of aluminum with the same surface area is almost exactly the same.
I would agree with you if the process of remelting the the aluminum did not add a large amounts of heat to the equation. More heat, more oxidation and faster oxidation.

I was thinking of how aluminum cans and foil are recycled. Heat and oxidation would not be a problem. If I were to throw it in a pot on a fire and tried to melt it my self, then it would be.
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  #6  
Old 03 February 2007, 11:25 AM
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Another problem with aluminum recycling (at least where I live) is it can't be recycled if there's food on it. If someone uses aluminum foil to line a pan, the foil won't be recyclable because of the baked-on mess.

If the food can be rinsed off, it can be recycled. If it's baked on, it has to be thrown away. At least with our recycling company.
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  #7  
Old 03 February 2007, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing in the Drizzle View Post
I would agree with you if the process of remelting the the aluminum did not add a large amounts of heat to the equation. More heat, more oxidation and faster oxidation.
When melted, the oxidation can be more than in the solid but only because that protective film is broken, not because of the higher heat. Before it melts, as long as the aluminum retains its coat, the oxidation does not increase with heat.
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  #8  
Old 03 February 2007, 04:53 PM
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Aluminum is recycled in my county, but it must be clean.
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  #9  
Old 03 February 2007, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiltsbypam View Post
Another problem with aluminum recycling (at least where I live) is it can't be recycled if there's food on it. If someone uses aluminum foil to line a pan, the foil won't be recyclable because of the baked-on mess.

If the food can be rinsed off, it can be recycled. If it's baked on, it has to be thrown away. At least with our recycling company.
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Canvas View Post
Aluminum is recycled in my county, but it must be clean.
Your community recycler is most likely reselling the materials to a metals recycler. If there are impurities (such as food) mixed in with the aluminum, the metals recycler may deduct from the going rate to account for any weight discrepency. Pure metals fetch the highest prices, so community recycler usually want clean materials so that they can get those higher prices.
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  #10  
Old 05 February 2007, 02:55 PM
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Glasses

Aluminum foil and aluminum food trays are specifically omitted from the list of recycleables in Seattle. They have a loverly poster that gives an over view of what is and is not accepted.

Seaboe
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  #11  
Old 05 February 2007, 06:35 PM
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Icon27

Of course tinfoil can be recycled.

Think of all the nice hats you can make with old tinfoil!
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  #12  
Old 07 February 2007, 02:28 PM
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Penn and Teller: Bullshit! dealt with recycling one (admittedly controversial) episode, and I seem to remember them saying that it was cheaper to produce new things rather than recycle old ones - with the exception of aluminium, where it is cheaper to recycle than to maufacture. I can't find a cite, other than to watch the episode (series 2, episode 5).
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