How to dispose and recycle aluminium trays

Aluminium tray disposal and recyclingAluminium trays are used in high volumes in both commercial and personal capacities – whether you are packing your lunch for work or ordering takeout. As a result, these products must be stored and recycled effectively after use.

What type of waste is this product?

Aluminium trays are a form of recyclable metal waste, which are often produced in large volumes within the packaging and manufacturing industries. Thankfully, they are very easy to recycle. In fact, aluminium is widely considered the ‘most recyclable’ metal because it can be recycled infinitely without losing any of its effectiveness.

Who invented aluminium trays?

Obviously, aluminium itself is not man-made. However, it is a rare metal due to the way in which it is formed and refined. This means that upon its introduction to the market in around 1859, the price of aluminium exceeded that of gold. However, as extraction processes developed and we could gain easier access to aluminium, it began to crop up in products more often. It was first used to create packaging containers, such as aluminium trays, in 1948.

What are aluminium trays made from, and how are they made?

Aluminium trays, as the name indicates, are made from a particular thick form of aluminium foil. They sometimes come with a paper or cardboard lid.

To create aluminium foil and trays, molten aluminium is placed in a rolling mill, creating slabs. The thickness of this slab will vary depending upon the kind of product being made. The slabs are then cooled before being sent over to a cold rolling mill, where it is rolled to the desired thickness and is sometimes double-layered to prevent breakage. Following this, the foil is then moulded into trays.

Aluminium Tray Disposal.

How do you dispose of aluminium trays?

Aluminium trays can be disposed of alongside the rest of your recyclables. This means that you do not need to use a separate bin for this waste. However, some companies prefer to use different containers for each waste type (metals, plastics, glass etc.). However, when disposing of aluminium trays, you should ensure that:

    You clean all products thoroughly before disposal to remove any food or liquid residue. This reduces the chances of cross-contamination occurring.

    Your waste is stored in the appropriate bin or container, such as a recyclable waste wheelie bin.

    Your waste is collected regularly by a licensed waste carrier.

Next life.

What happens to aluminium trays after they have been put in the bin?

Once your waste has been collected, it will be taken to the appropriate waste recycling facility for treatment. Here, the following process occurs:

The waste is run through a machine (baler) that sorts products into separate waste categories and cleans them. Typically, aluminium products, such as trays, foils and cans, will be disposed of together.

The aluminium trays are then compressed or compacted before being re-melted. This essentially restarts the lifecycle of an aluminium product – as the molten aluminium can then be used to make something new.

As the process for aluminium recycling is so efficient, studies predict that your recycled aluminium trays could find their way back to supermarket shelves (or your local takeout) in just one month.

What are some eco-friendly alternatives to aluminium trays?

As recycling aluminium trays is so straightforward, their usage is often promoted over other forms of single-use packaging. However, there are few alternatives out there that you may wish to consider should you be trying to become more sustainable within your business practices. For example, you could use plastic or glass containers/trays, which can be used repeatedly. Alternatively, you could use eco-friendly food wraps to store food products.

What can I do with aluminium trays instead of throwing them away?

While many of us are quick to throw away aluminium trays after use, once cleaned, they can actually be repurposed in a variety of ways. For example, if you find it challenging to remove built-up grease on kitchen supplies and utensils, scrunched up aluminium could help you banish these stubborn stains for good. They can also be used for non-food storage. Furthemore, if you have fancy silverware in your draw, wrapping them in aluminium in between uses can help them stay looking great for longer as aluminium slows down the rate at which metal deteriorates.

What are the costs associated with recycling and disposing of aluminium trays?

As aluminium is one of the easiest products to recycle, the costs of recycling and disposing of this product are not nearly as high as you may think. This is because it can be collected alongside the rest of your recycling and does not need to undergo any specialist treatment in the same way hazardous waste does. You must simply ensure that you work alongside a licensed waste carrier and that products are stored in the appropriate bins before collection. At Business Waste, we can help you cut costs in all areas of waste management – by providing you with access to free bins and putting together a waste management plan on your behalf.

How many aluminium trays are there?

According to the Aluminium Association, around 7 billion aluminium trays or containers are produced annually worldwide. This equates to approximately 220 foil trays per second.

How many aluminium trays are in landfills?

While the exact figures are unclear regarding the number of aluminium trays sent to landfills, a recent study from Friends of the Earth claimed that as little as 12% of aluminium based products are recycled appropriately – and are instead sent to landfill sites.

More facts about aluminium trays.

It’s estimated that around 75% of produced aluminium is still in use today due to highly efficient recycling processes.

Aluminium trays are used for food storage since they have many valuable properties. They can help retain heat while also protecting the contents from moisture or contamination.

If we were to make new aluminium trays from raw materials instead of those that had already been recycled, this would require 90% more energy than we are currently using in the recycling process.

Where can you take aluminium trays to recycle/dispose of them for free?

Typically, you can dispose of your aluminium trays alongside the rest of your recyclable waste. However, you can also dispose of them free of charge at:

    Local recycling centres.
    Local waste disposal sites.
    Specialist collection points at supermarkets.

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