Aluminium recycling

Collection of aluminium foil and food containers for recycling is now up and running through Sustainable Communities NPSP. Judy Dispain of the College Park-Hackney Group  has a collection container in her garage. She takes it to the Aldinga Eco-Village where it goes to Chas Martin who sells it for the Save the Willunga Basin program.

Although aluminium is an energy intensive material to produce, it is not covered by kerbside recycling unless it is a container deposit item. As a result  it goes to landfill and a lot of energy  is wasted. The embodied energy in a 5 gram meat pie dish is 1⁄4 of a killowatt hour. The electricity taken to produce 1 killogram of aluminium from ore is of the order of 50 killowatt hours, but it takes less than 10% of that to recycle aluminium. The price of salvaged aluminium is low because of the outrageous subsidies via super low electricity prices to aluminium refiners. Chas Martin has been collecting aluminium materials for fundraising for Friends of Willunga Basin for 3 years now. He believes that by recycling aluminium the issues involved can be highlighted, carbon footprint of aluminium use decreased  and some income generated for community groups.

The photo below shows some of the items which are suitable. As a general guide if you scrunch it up and it holds the crumpled state it is suitable. If it mostly bounces back it is probably a plastic and unsuitable. Whilst recycling aluminium is good, reducing its use where possible is even better.

Currently items can be dropped off at Judy Dispain’s house or with the nominated members from the Beulah Park and  Royston Park- Marden Community Groups. A more comprehensive collection system is being developed.

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