Link to USGS home page.
U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1196-W

Flow Studies for Recycling Metal Commodities in the United States

Aluminum Recycling in the United States in 2000

(Supersedes Open-File Report 2005-1051)

Published 2006
Online only
Version 1.0

By Patricia A. Plunkert


As one of a series of reports on metals recycling, this report discusses the flow of aluminum from production through its uses with particular emphasis on the recycling of industrial scrap (new scrap) and used products (old scrap) in 2000. This materials flow study includes a description of aluminum supply and demand factors for the United States to illustrate the extent of aluminum recycling and to identify recycling trends. Understanding the system of materials flow from source to ultimate disposition can assist in improving the management of natural resources in a manner that is compatible with sound environmental practices. In 2000, the old scrap recycling efficiency for aluminum was estimated to be 42 percent. Almost 60 percent of the aluminum that was recycled in 2000 came from new scrap, and the recycling rate was estimated to be 36 percent. The principal source of old scrap was recycled aluminum beverage cans.


This report is available in Adobe Reader format.

Circular 1196-W [250-KB PDF].

Get Adobe Reader


For additional information about aluminum, please see

FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button