By Tori Carle, Waste Reduction Supervisor, City of Greensboro
As a country, we landfill enough aluminum each year to build a fleet of aircrafts. Much of this waste comes in the form of cans and dish containers. Here in the Triad, most aluminum found in the kitchen is recyclable – including aluminum foil and pie pans.
But, like with many good things, there is a catch. In order to recycle aluminum foil properly, it needs to be relatively clean (a quick rinse should do the trick, no need to spend minutes scrubbing the foil spotless), and loosely balled together to at least the size of a softball. It is important to ball up the foil so that it will be separated properly. Flat foil will act like paper in the machinery and end up in the paper piles.
If your aluminum foil isn’t ripped, reuse it! If you’re going through the effort to clean your aluminum foil or dish containers spotless, there is no reason to recycle them after one use. If you’re having trouble getting your foil or dish containers clean enough for reuse in the sink, aluminum is dishwasher safe on the top rack!
In addition to looking for ways to recycle more, consider creating less waste in the first place. There are reusable options such as beeswax paper or even plastic/glass reusable containers that can be used over and over again to keep food fresh.