No other container can match the energy savings and value that aluminum brings to recycling. Not only is the packaging incredibly sustainable, but it also has practically infinite recyclability and a 60-day turnaround from used beverage container to new can.
Did you know that we take aluminum cans for free and use the proceeds to help contain the cost of garbage/recycling operations? In fact, ORS is using aluminum collection as a pilot for future source-separation of recyclables.
Any island “old-timer” will tell you that Orcas used to separate recyclables. But then the County decided it was easier to pursue a co-mingled recycling model and began mixing glass, plastic, paper and metal. Easier is not always better. ORS/The Exchange intends to bring BACK source separation, because it increases the amount of material that is actually recycled (better for the environment), and it saves everyone money (better for the local economy). When the new Exchange is built, we will have a self-separation area near the current “Z-wall”. Those who choose to self-sort will pay little or nothing for recycling.
Next time you go to the store to buy beer, think about the following: recycled glass is essentially worthless and will likely end up in the landfill; aluminum is very valuable and is almost infinitely recyclable. In addition, some craft brewers, like Oskar Blues, are only packaging their brew in cans – no bottles, because it’s better for the integrity of the beer. Do the planet a favor and drink beer from cans!