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ALCOA RECYCLES RECORD 23 BILLION USED ALUMINUM BEVERAGE CANS IN 1991; RECYCLERS EARN $255 MILLION; CAN COLLECTIONS INCREASE NINE PERCENT

ALCOA RECYCLES RECORD 23 BILLION USED ALUMINUM BEVERAGE CANS IN 1991; RECYCLERS EARN $255 MILLION; CAN COLLECTIONS INCREASE NINE PERCENT
 KNOXVILLE, Tenn., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. aluminum beverage can recyclers earned $255 million by returning 23 billion used containers to Alcoa (NYSE: AA) in 1991.
 "Alcoa's can collections increased nine percent over 1990," said George Cobb, president of Alcoa Recycling Company. Cobb said Alcoa's record can harvest averaged 92 cans for each American. Each American buys 360 aluminum beverage cans annually.
 Cobb credited the increase in the number of cans Alcoa collected to a growing consumer recycling ethic, an increased number of communities which collect recyclables at curbside and greater involvement and investment in can recycling by brewers, soft drink fillers, airlines, charitable organizations and the military.
 Alcoa remelts used cans, rolls the recycled aluminum into new can sheet and sells the product to canmakers, closing the loop between used cans and new containers in as few as 90 days.
 Cobb said over 91 billion aluminum cans were sold in the United States in 1991, and estimated that more than 56 billion were recycled by aluminum companies and the beverage industry. "Despite a downturn in the U.S. economy which resulted in lower prices paid for all recyclables, we believe the percent of aluminum cans that was recycled in 1991 declined less than two percentage points from the 1990 industry record level of nearly 64 percent. No example better illustrates the tremendous value of used cans to consumers, recyclers, municipalities and the beverage industry," Cobb said.
 More than 50 percent of the aluminum Alcoa sold to canmakers in 1991 came from recycled cans, Cobb said. "Aluminum cans contain almost twice as much recycled material as any other beverage package. This environmental advantage is very important to consumers who "precycle" -- who buy products that are not just technically recyclable, but are actually being recycled. With an estimated 1992 recycling rate of about 62 percent, the aluminum can is the most recycled package in America," said Cobb.
 Aluminum can recycling eases the burden on landfills, saves 95 percent of the energy needed to produce aluminum from ore, fights litter, conserves natural resources and creates jobs. Alcoa said more than 40,000 people are employed at recycling centers, aluminum recycling plants, in factories building can recycling and handling equipment and in the rail and trucking industries that support the national recycling activity. An estimated 15 million Americans regularly collect cans for themselves or their organizations, Alcoa said.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/11/92
 /CONTACT: John H. Van Devender of Alcoa, 615-594-4854/
 (AA) CO: Alcoa ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:


CD -- PG008 -- 7405 03/11/92 15:19 EST
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Date:Mar 11, 1992
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