Ardagh Metal Packaging, Crown Holdings fund two more MRF can capture equipment grants
Beverage can manufacturers Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP) and Crown Holdings (Crown) are funding two new grants for can capture equipment at material recovery facilities (MRF) that will annually capture more than 20 million aluminum beverage cans. These additional cans captured each year are worth around $325,000 and when recycled will result in energy savings equivalent to powering more than 900 U.S. homes for an entire year.
These two grants are in addition to the four that AMP and Crown have previously funded as part of a program in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership. Collectively, the six can capture equipment grants that Ardagh and Crown have funded have helped install equipment that will capture more than 115.5 million aluminum beverage cans each year they are operating. The aggregate cans captured with these six grants are worth more than $1.8 million and when recycled will result in energy savings equivalent to powering more than 5,000 U.S. homes for an entire year.
"Ardagh Metal Packaging is proud to jointly fund with Crown these grants that continue to demonstrate there is a significant opportunity for MRFs to capture millions of aluminum beverage cans each year," said Jens Irion, CEO of Ardagh Metal Packaging North America. "That is why capturing missorted cans at MRFs is one of the pillars of action to make progress toward the ambitious U.S. aluminum beverage can recycling rate targets that AMP, Crown, and all CMI beverage can manufacturer and can sheet producer members have committed to achieve."
MRFs receiving the grant are:
- GreenWaste in San Jose, California, which serves 300,000 households throughout the San Jose area, will use the grant toward a second eddy current separator that will capture undersized aluminum and previously lost items from the MRF's screening process. It expects to capture each year with this equipment 260 new tons of aluminum (17.6 million aluminum beverage cans).
- RecyclingWorks in Elkhart, Indiana, which reaches more than 200,000 households, will use the grant toward a robotic sorter that can be installed in a small area on the residue conveyor. It will reduce by 45 tons (3 million aluminum beverage cans) the amount of aluminum going to landfill.
This grant program with The Recycling Partnership is part of a comprehensive effort with the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) to spur the installation of equipment in MRFs to capture missorted aluminum beverage cans. Based on research from 2020, CMI found up to one in four aluminum beverage cans are missorted at a typical MRF and that without the revenue from used beverage cans, most MRFs wouldn't be able to operate without a change in their business model. Along with the research and grants, CMI conducted testing in 2022 at several MRFs proving the number of cans being missorted and the return on investment (ROI) to capture them, followed by a free ROI calculator for MRFs to use. Most recently, CMI fully financed a two-year lease of a robot from EverestLabs with funding from AMP and Crown at a California MRF that will capture more than one million aluminum beverage cans per year.
"A consumer putting an aluminum beverage can in the recycling bin, getting hauled to an MRF, and then being missorted and not recycled is unacceptable," said John Rost, vice president of global sustainability and regulatory affairs at Crown Holdings. "We need more of our aluminum back to provide a consistent, domestic supply of material that people in good manufacturing jobs at our facilities ultimately turn into new aluminum beverage cans. We already recycle aluminum beverage cans at scale today with 90,000 of them recycled every minute in the United States, and 93 percent of those cans recycled into new cans; programs like this grant program help more cans go through the existing domestic circular economy to become new cans."
"These improvements to our recycling systems will provide meaningful gains in aluminum circularity," said Adam Gendell, director of materials advancement at The Recycling Partnership. "We see tremendous opportunities to continue upgrading our recycling infrastructure and we're grateful to partner with the Can Manufacturers Institute to pursue our shared mission of reducing waste and increasing circularity."
CMI will look to fund additional can capture grants and leases to recycling facilities in the future.
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