A delegation from Mason Metals Ltd was fortunate enough to visit and receive a plant tour of Novelis UK’s aluminium can recycling facility in Warrington, Cheshire.
The main event was seeing the 26tn ingots produced entirely from recycled aluminium cans – before being sent to Germany to Europe’s only rolling facility; where the blocks are rolled into sheets and supplied to can makers in the UK to be re-manufactured into drinks cans. This model is the prime example of “closed loop recycling”. With around 65,000 cans in a tonne the blocks represent an astonishing 1.69 million recycled cans and a saving of 234 tonnes of carbon emissions. Mason’s sister company Halesowen Metals is one of a number of regional aggregation centres Novelis use to collect and grade aluminium cans before being melted at the Warrington plant. Currently handling 50 - 100tns of material per week – adds up to an eye popping 6.5 million cans. The delegation were shown the huge new shredding lines that have been installed at Warrington. These lines shred, sort and clean the cans ensuring they are free from contamination before removing the paint from the cans and finally transferring the molten aluminium into the furnace.
On a local level Mason Metals Ltd has been a “Cash for Cans” collector for over 20 years. The site has always been popular with charities, clubs, churches and schools who recycle cans to raise fun ds for their causes. Mr Woodall states “due to the cash ban on scrap metal purchases there is a worry that people would loose the incentive to recycle; especially fund raisers. Hopefully this won’t be the case and we still provide an instant payment on deliveries except by either cheque or bank transfer. We are still seeing the cans but were right behind ALUPRO when they tried to get an exemption for allowing the cash for cans scheme to continue”.
Novelis UK’s Metal Buyer for the Midlands Martin Essex said “ it was great to show the team from Mason’s around the plant. The new investments mean we have the capacity to recycle all the used aluminium cans within the UK. The current UK recycling rate for aluminium drinks cans is around 55% so we’ve got plenty to aim at. We purchase UBCs (used beverage cans) from local authorities, waste management companies and scrap metal merchants. Mason Metal’s does a great job in sourcing them through their network. One thing is for certain – we always need more!”
Mason Metals and Halesowen Metals are buying cans at approx 50p per kilo (around 65 cans). They can provide resources such as posters, recycling bags, promotional bins/boxes for schools/ offices etc and of course magnets to help recycle. If you are interested please call them on 01384 79841.