Is Aluminum Foil Recyclable?
Yes, aluminum foil is recyclable, BUT it is difficult to find recycling centers that will accept your used foil. Tin foil is made from 100% aluminum and is just as recyclable as aluminum soda cans. However, most recycling facilities don't accept it because it is very difficult to clean aluminum foil (and therefore for very difficult to recycle). Find a recycling center near you that accepts used aluminum foil at earth911.org/recycling. Make sure to clean it thoroughly with soap and water first.
It is important to reuse and recycle your tin foil for many reasons. According to Earth911, "it takes 95 percent less energy to make aluminum from recycled aluminum, versus using bauxite ore (virgin materials). For example, recycling one aluminum can will save enough energy to run a television for three hours." And that foil you threw in the trash yesterday? It will be sitting in a landfill for the next 400 years!
Before bringing your used aluminum foil to the recycling center, consider reusing or "upcycling" it. Here are a few ideas
- Wash food residue off in soapy water and reuse next time you need to wrap your leftovers.
- Make beautiful beads for bracelets, neckalces, and other jewelry (see the video below!)
- Sharpen your scissors: Fold used foil so that it's six to eight layers thick, then cut thru it a few times with dull scissors to instantly sharpen them.
- Protect your plants by making a collar out of used foil around the stems of young tomato plants and other plant starts in order to keep insects away.
- Use a wad of foil instead of steel wool to get the rust off your steel, chrome, and other metals.
- Throw it into your dryer to reduce static cling without all of the chemicals and perfumes of a dryer sheet.
- Use a wad of aluminum foil as a scouring pad for bbq grills, ovens, and caked-on pots and pans.