Last week, during their spring break, eight Girl Scouts from Crestwood Intermediate and their siblings took a tour at Streetsboro Metal Recycling to get a head start on Earth Day. The girls brought aluminum cans with them, which they had started collecting  when the school year began. While at the facility, they learned first-hand about recycling, while earning funds for their troop in the process.

crestwood-mantua-girl-scouts-recycleAccording to, every minute, an average of 113,204 aluminum cans are recycled, and the group got to see, first-hand, how it happens. Manager Jason Faustini, runs Streetsboro Metal Recycling, and gave the group a tour of the operation. First, the girls unloaded their collection, placing it on a giant scale. To their amazement, they had collected roughly 2,000 pounds of them, which is, both literally and figuratively, a ton of cans. The cans were then combined with others into to a large holding bin for processing.

The group watched in wonder as large scoops of empty cans were shoveled into a large crushing machine, which magically transformed them into one cube, approximately two- square-feet. Those space-saving cubes were stacked on a skid with others, awaiting a trip to a metal processing plant. Faustini shared that it takes roughly 32 cans to equal one pound, and each bale of cans weighs roughly 1,000 pounds. Eventually, in as little as 60 days, those crushed cans may be made into new ones, available at a store near you, holding your beverage of choice.

During the brief tour, the girls learned that the easiest way to determine whether the cans they collected were ferrous (iron or steel) or nonferrous (aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, etc.) was to use a magnet. If the magnet doesn’t stick, which was the case for all the aluminum cans collected by the troop, then the metal is nonferrous. Lucky for the girls, nonferrous metal typically earns a higher price than ferrous metal.

But recycling aluminum cans does more than simply earn money. According to Faustini, recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours. To encourage the girls to continue recycling, Faustini provided each child with their own magnet to help them identify what they collect in the future.

For more information on recycling aluminum cans, visit Streetsboro Recycling’s Facebook page.