OSC Recycling & Sustainability Service Group

A reflective blog exploring recycling & sustainability initiatives at the Overseas School of Colombo

Aluminum Cans (Resource Conservation Strategies in Sri Lanka)

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In Colombo, the community around OSC, Battaramulla disposes its waste (including aluminum cans at times)  through conventional garbage collections and more eco-friendly scrap yards. So what happens to all of the waste we produce?  To find an answer of the amount of aluminum cans being thrown away in our waste and the processes it is being done, our class decided to visit a nearby scrap yard/recycling center located near the school. After an interview with one of the staff in charge, I managed to deduce the following information. The site receives an average of 300 kg of aluminum cans per month and that the buy value of aluminum per kg is 100 Rs. and the selling price is 120 Rs. However these price values are probably unlikely because the recycling center staff member seemed reluctant to tell us the full details of their operations.  However, if the prices stated to us are true, it means that the trash disposal company receives a profit when they purchase aluminum cans from citizens and then sell their aluminum cans to landfills or recycling plants. The fact that there is a buyer that purchases aluminum cans acts as an incentive that persuades local citizens to take advantage of their waste disposal program, causing the amount of waste to be more organized within the community.

Relating this experience to our community of OSC, we are a massive producer of waste in Battaramulla. The waste we create is collected by municipal disposal companies situated within Battaramulla. The aluminum cans that our school creates are sent to similar scrap yards similar to the areas I visited earlier. But when we send our aluminum cans to waste disposal centers, what actually happens to them? This fact from a UK study should help explain the circumstances of aluminum disposal and recycling.  Did you know that five billion aluminum drink cans are sold in the UK every year? Each of the cans have the ability to be recycled which will allow the nation to save energy, reduce resource consumption and provide lower waste levels. Sadly, only 42% of aluminum drink cans are recycled within the UK, meaning that the other 58% which is equal to three billion cans were disposed by means of garbage, waste or landfill.

One of the simplest ways to rid of aluminum cans is by recycling. A small list of the many advantages of recycling aluminum cans include, it requires less energy compared to mining and smelting it a new, it reduces the needs of raw materials such as bauxite, it reduces the amount of landfill levels in communities, it is the most cost-effective material, and it is one of the easiest materials to recycle.

It should seem trivial by now to not recycle your aluminum cans; so the next time you finish that can of Coke, don’t throw it into the trash, rinse it out, let it dry, and set it aside for recycling. This simple procedure will aid the struggle of resource preservation and sustainability indefinitely, so remember “Don’t bin your tin”.

Article Copyright: Skylor Knoll  2011


Written by recycling1011

2011-04-22 at 3:39 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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