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Aluminum recycling

We recycle aluminum all around the world, creating a foundation for the circular economy.

Aluminium scrap

Our aim is to enable a more circular economy through our remelt facilities, where we sort and remelt used and production scrap aluminum.  

Currently, more than half of the aluminum we use in our production is recycled. 

Look for the Aluminum  Stewardship Initiative label

Hydro takes sustainability seriously. We are certifying plants in all parts of our value chain under the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI), which means you can trust that we will guide you towards the industry’s most sustainable materials and solutions.

The energy bank  

Aluminum is like an energy bank. Once it is produced, it can be reused infinitely, and reusing post-consumer aluminum scrap has a very small carbon footprint.

Post-consumer scrap has already lived a “life” – maybe in a window frame or a can – and now it has been recycled to be turned into something new. Pre-consumer scrap is typically scrap that comes from the production process and hasn’t been used. The most CO2 efficient aluminum products are the ones made from post-consumer scrap.

An aluminum extrusion is on average 15 to 20 years old when it is discarded. After recycling, this aluminum gets a second life. But the remelting process only requires 5% of the initial energy used to produce the primary aluminum. The aluminum does not lose any of its properties during the recycling process.

Recycling 1 tonne of aluminum saves 6 tonnes of bauxite and 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Globally, the recycling of aluminum saves more than 100 million tonnes of CO2 every year.” 

Learn to design for recycling

How can you as an industrial designer, architect or engineer design and manufacture for a circular economy? Here are three points worth considering: 

The first is choosing a sustainable material that can be recycled when the product is no longer in use. To give an example close to home, aluminum is a sustainable material because it can be recycled and reused. It does not lose its properties after recycling and the remelting process can save energy consumption by as much as 95 percent. 


The second point is joining. You need to know how to join the materials, because the joining method you choose makes a difference. Why?

  • Similar materials do not need to be separated, hence improving the recycling rate 
  • In mixed-material combinations, the best joining techniques enable simple and practical disassembly and separation prior to recycling. These can be mechanical fasteners, including bolts, screws, snap-fit and interlock joints.  

The last point you should consider is repair – and reuse – of the product. Can it be repaired? By whom? Can you use the product or its materials again?

Fortunately, we are seeing more products than before being designed for easy reparation and/or easy reuse by industrial designers and manufacturing companies.  


Recycling starts on the drawing board

The biggest challenge of modern production is sustainability.

Too many products cannot be recycled because of the way they are produced. It is either impossible to take them apart or too expensive. We need to produce things that live longer, can be recycled or reused.

Understanding material properties (including environmental footprint) and manufacturing processes will help create sustainable products, with recycling or reuse in mind.