The U.S. recycling rate for aluminum beverage cans has reached its highest level in a decade, with 58.1% of all cans recycled last year-a rate that is nearly than double that of any other beverage container, the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) announced June 15.

Nearly 56 billion aluminum cans were recycled in 2010, leading to a used beverage container (UBC) recycling rate of 58.1%-the highest in 11 years.  Because it takes 95% less energy to produce a can from recycled material, the high recycling rate also resulted in significant energy savings.  The amount of energy saved just from recycling cans in 2010 is equal to the energy equivalent of 17 million barrels of crude oil, or nearly two days of all U.S. oil imports.

In 2008, the Aluminum Association adopted a goal of recycling 75% of aluminum cans by 2015.  The recycling rate at that time was 54.2%, and it has been gradually climbing upward since then; the 2009 UBC recycling rate was 57.4%.