Don’t delay – recycle today!

It’s never been easier to make your metal matter in East Staffordshire

When it comes to recycling, metal is hard to beat. That’s because it’s endlessly recyclable - every last bit can be turned into something else. And it’s a cycle that can go on for ever.

The food or drink cans and other metal packaging items you recycle at home could end up being transformed into any one of a wide number of new products, from a designer watch or a smartphone, to a washing machine or even a new bus! 

Every time metal is recycled it saves energy, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and saves on landfill space – so it’s good news for the planet.

Best of all it doesn’t take a lot of effort on your part to make a big difference. All you need to do is drop your cans, empty aerosols, tins and foil in your blue recycling bin – not the rubbish bin. It’s as easy as that!

So by recycling your waste metal packaging at home, you can reduce your carbon footprint and prevent valuable materials ending up in landfill.

How is waste metal transformed?

The empty can you recycle today could be back on the supermarket shelf as another can in as little as 60 days!

From your household recycling collection, the cans, foil and empty aerosols you save are taken to a Material Recycling Facility.

Metal packaging is made of either aluminium or steel.  At the materials recycling facility the latest technology is used to separate the different metals before they are baled and sent for reprocessing.  The process involves melting the metal; it is then cast into ingots which are sent on for manufacturing. The recycled metal is then used to produce all sorts of everyday items like cameras, irons and kettles as well as more food tins and cans.

That’s why it’s so important to do your bit – every piece of metal packaging you recycle will be used again and again for years to come. And every time it’s recycled we save energy, cut emissions – and reduce waste and costs.

What can I recycle?

All metal is endlessly recyclable.

Please put the following items in your blue recycling bin:

  • Drink cans
  • Food tins
  • Pet food tins
  • Empty aerosols
  • Metal lids from jars and bottles
  • Kitchen foil (clean)
  • Foil trays (clean)
  • Sweet / biscuit tins

Please make sure your aerosols are empty and foil and foil trays / food tins have been wiped or rinsed before adding these items to your recycling. Don’t worry about removing labels on food tins and just pop the metal lid inside, if there is one.

Some household metal items cannot be collected with your kerbside recycling, such as those listed below – BUT they can still be recycled! Please take such metal waste to your nearest Household Waste and Recycling Centre.  Details for the Household Waste and Recycling Centres can be found on Staffordshire County Council's website.  

These items can be recycled at your Household Waste and Recycling Centre:

  • Empty paint tins & lids
  • Garden tools
  • Pots and pans
  • Crockery
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Door handles
  • Bikes
  • Electrical items

Making your metals matter: Top tips for recycling metals at home

Most of us are familiar with recycling their empty food and drinks cans, but may be less sure about what, or how, other metal packaging items can be recycled.

  • Don’t forget that all metal packaging can be recycled!  So as well as food and drinks cans, items like sweet tins, cake tins, foil trays, aluminium wrapping foil and pet food tins can all be put in your blue recycling bin.
  • And it’s not just items used in the kitchen that are recyclable! Aerosols used for deodorants, shaving foam and hair spray can also be included alongside your metal food and drink containers.

Recycling aerosols

  • Ensure that your aerosol is completely used up before you put it in the recycling bin.
  • Do not pierce, crush or flatten aerosols before recycling.
  • Detach any loose or easily removable parts, such as the plastic lid, and dispose of them with the rest of your rubbish. Don't worry about removing the plastic nozzle - this will be removed during the recycling process.

Recycling foil trays and household foil

  • Clean aluminium foil can also be recycled, such as wrapping foil, take-away trays, pie and quiche cases and oven-ready meal trays.
  • Please wipe or rinse food residue off take away and ready meal trays: There’s no need to run the tap, just a quick swill in the bowl at the end of the washing up is usually sufficient.
  • However, not all products that appear to be aluminium foil are recyclable. For example, some crisp packets can look like aluminium foil, but they are actually made from metallised plastic and cannot be recycled.
  • To check if a foil container is aluminium, put it through a ‘scrunch’ test. Simply scrunch the item in your fist, then release your grip. If the foil has stayed scrunched, then it is aluminium, and can be recycled. If it pops out into its original form, it is not aluminium and should be put in with your rubbish, not in with your recycling.

Recycling non-packaging metal items

  • All steel and aluminium can be recycled but not all can be collected at the kerbside.  You can take electrical items, like irons, or bulky items like bicycles and pans, paint cans and nuts and bolts to your household waste and recycling centre.  Find out more information on your local recycling centre.

For more information and facts check out these websites: