Used Beverage Cans (UBCs) are some of the easiest materials to recycle. Today, many authorities dictate that beverage cans and a mix of other ‘recyclables’ are segregated at source by the consumer, but many still end up in the waste stream. So, if they are so easy to recycle, then how easy is it to recover them?
Beverage cans are made out of steel or aluminium and both can be extracted from waste using magnetic separation systems. Steel is relatively straight forward as it is attracted to a magnet and recycling operations will either install a Cross Belt Overband Magnet across the conveyor or a Magnetic Pulley at the end of the conveyor.
Even aluminium can be separated using an Eddy Current Separator. A high speed rotating magnetic rotor inside a non-metallic shell forcibly propels aluminium away from non-metallic materials such as plastic, paper and wood.
These technologies have existed for decades and are not extortionately expensive. So hopefully, as the pressure on our natural resources increases, more local authorities and recycling companies will invest in proven technology to recover nearly all USBs.