A variety of household metal items are recyclable at the curb in Cedar Rapids.  By following a few key steps, we can make a difference by recycling our metal items in our CURBY carts.

What goes in CURBY:

  • metal food cans (soup cans, veggie cans, coffee cans, etc.)

  • pop cans and beer cans (or take them back to the store for your deposit)

What to leave out:

  • large metal objects (pots and pans, grills, metal shelving, etc.)

  • coat hangers

  • aluminum foil

  • aluminum pie plates

Large metal objects are considered scrap metal and can be recycled for free at either Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency location throughout the year. Coat hangers bind up the sorting equipment causing fires and system shut-downs.  Many dry cleaners will accept wire hangers for reuse, or you can take your hangers to the Solid Waste Agency for scrap metal recycling.

What happens to it?
Metal collected in your CURBY cart is sorted at the City Carton Recycling Facility in Cedar Rapids.  A large magnet is used to pull the steel cans out of the general recycling.  Aluminum is not magnetic, so it is sorted using other technology and by hand.  Once the metals are sorted, they are crushed into large bundles and shipped to facilities that will melt the metal down and create new materials.  An aluminum pop can may turn right back into a new can and be on the shelves in just 60 days.

How does recycling metal make a difference?

  • Save Resources.

    • Aluminum is a sustainable metal and can be recycled over and over again

    • Recycling one ton of steel cans conserves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone for use by future generations

  • Save Energy.

    • In 2007, 54 billion cans were recycled, saving the energy equivalent of 15 million barrels of crude oil – America’s entire gas consumption for one day

    • Every pound of steel cans recycled conserves enough energy to light a 60-watt bulb for 26 hours

Questions about metal recycling? 
Call (319) 286-5897.

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