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holds, commercial institutions, and manufacturing entities. Curbside collection programs recapture large quantities of recyclables. Aluminum UBCs can be separated as an individual commodity or commingled with other recyclables.

Steel food cans, which make up more than 90% of all food containers, are often called tin cans because of the thin tin coating used to protect the contents from corrosion. Some steel cans, such as tuna cans, are made with tin-free steel, while others have an aluminum lid and a steel body and are commonly called bimetal cans. All these empty cans are completely recyclable by the steel industry and should be included in any recycling program.

At the MRF, the collection vehicle discharges the commingled aluminum and tin cans into a hopper bin, which discharges to a conveyor belt. The conveyor transports the commingled cans past an overhead magnetic separator where the tin cans are removed. The belt continues past a pulley magnetic separator, where any tin cans not removed with the overhead magnet are taken out. The aluminum and tin cans, collected separately, are baled for shipment to markets.

At a reclamation plant, shredded aluminum cans are first heated in a delacquering process to remove coatings and moisture. Then they are charged into a remelting furnace. Molten metal is formed into ingots of 30,000 lb or more that are transferred to another mill and rolled into sheets. The sheets are sent to container manufacturing plants and cut into disks, from which cans are formed.

Aluminum markets have material specifications that regulate the extent of contamination allowed in each delivery as well as the method by which materials are prepared. For example, some markets prohibit aluminum foils and aluminum pans because they are usually contaminated. Noncontainer aluminum products purchased by dealers must simply be dry and free of contaminants.

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