One Person and One Aluminum Can

Remember how an election was lost by one vote? Or the horse which lost one shoe causing a war  to be lost? How about one person thinking their aluminum can doesn’t matter if it is trashed or  sold? The aluminum in one single can is worth up to two and 1/2 cents.

Here is an example of  what that one can represents with 30 cans weighing 1 pound.  The 2010 census counted 14,034 residents in Clarke County. If each person used one aluminum  twelve ounce can on one day and threw it into the trash, that would equal 468 pounds. Prices  paid for cans may vary from $0.50 to $0.75 per pound so the cans thrown away were worth up to  $351.

Don’t forget – one can per day.

Multiply that by 30 days of tossing aluminum cans into the trash and the month total is $10,526.  For one year of tossing into the trash is $126,306.  Each person in the county is only using one twelve ounce can per day and giving it the toss.

Comprehend if two cans per person per day were to be thrown. Or three.

You know where money like that is needed for many community or youth groups than buried in  a landfill. All it takes is recycling or a group collecting the cans and selling them. This income  can pay toward the expense of curbside recycling. There are many facts about recycling but the  most important is to want it and use it.

Recycle everything and make the landfill an event of the  past.

Bill Pechumer

Hagerstown, MD


  1. During World War 2, Boy Scouts and American citizens did a lot of recycling. People were encouraged to create victory gardens and raise some of their own food. There was gas rationing. It takes energy to create an aluminum can. Recycling saves energy and resources.

    • During WWII ALL ferrous scrap was part of the war effort. Farm machinery never sat in the field to rust in that time. The real old timers still have a souvenir ration book or two. The effort on the part of the BSA was only the tip of the iceberg.

      Different times meant different sensibilities.

      • Clarke Conservative says:

        Today all ferrous scrap metal is collected and sent to China, which they turn around and send back to us as manufactured goods.

        • Roscoe Evans says:

          Interesting? Maybe, but irrelevant to an article about recycling aluminium cans.

          So what’s your point? You’re afraid of China? Or you’re looking forward to a trip to Walmart, to see what they’ve done with “our” scraps?

          Or are you suggesting that recycling is a waste of energy, or just some sort of “liberal” frolic? Because the recycling of aluminum is supposed to be especially cost-effective. If that’s not true, please let us know.

        • So you are implying that Zuckerman’s, for example, is part of the problem, rather than an integral part of the solution? I’d like to see some proof, please.

        • Calm down I am not attacking Zuckermans or Liberal frolics, just stating a fact that China buys our scrap. No, I refuse to shop at Walmart, and try hard to buy American, or anything Not-Made-In-China.

          No conservatives are not evil and want to poison your children. Personally I have recycled for decades; paper, plastic, cans, compost, etc. Keep the heat at 68 degrees and A/C at 78 degrees. (to my wife’s dismay) My family of four takes only one trash bag to the dump each week.

          Actually with the price of tin cans going up it increases the likelyhood of recycling. When the price was low many recycling centers used to loose money on the overhead costs and sometimes just dumped it all in the land fill.

          • My 2 Cents says:

            Wow, so in other words, you are cold in the Winter and hot in the Summer????

          • actually, in the winter 68 degrees feels kinda warm, and in the summer 78 is bearable. what he is saying is that he is not over consumptive and didn’t grow up spoilt. perhaps some of us are getting to an age where 68 to 78 is about what Heaven would be for us…..sorry kid, someday you will understand.

          • “China buys” is a bad thing? And all ferrous scrap metal goes to China is still a specious statement. Finally the Chinese sell manufactured goods. Nobody is making the US buy them.

            Your alarmist viewpoint is smoke and mirrors, or just bait.

          • Fun, off-topic fact: china owns only 9.6% of US debt. The majority is held by financial institutions and various other private entities within the US. While nearly 10% is a significant chunk, the conception that China somehow has us [redacted] is uneducated farce. We could probably give them an f-16 or two and call the whole thing fair.

          • Just Curious says:

            Why even run your A/C if you set it that high? I’d say you are conservative………

  2. I’m actually agreeing with you, Educator. The difference between then and now was the immediacy of the enemy. Hitler and Tojo HAD to be defeated! There was no choice, only victory.