Anchorage Takes the Can Challenge
During the month of October, the
Municipality of Anchorage, with the
help of the Municipality’s Solid Waste
Services (SWS), is promoting a
national recycling challenge. The Cans
for Cash™ City Recycling Challenge is
a national contest that rewards U.S.
cities for recycling aluminum beverage
The Challenge is sponsored by a
partnership of The United States
Conference of Mayors, Novelis
Corporation, and Keep America
SWS is encouraging all Anchorage residents to “Take the Can Challenge” by recycling as many
aluminum beverage cans as possible during the month of October (October 1 – 29).
“The Can Challenge is an opportunity to raise awareness about recycling and to show Anchorage
residents how easy it is to recycle aluminum cans,” says Mayor Dan Sullivan. “More opportunities
exist to recycle aluminum cans in Anchorage than any other recyclable material.”
“Since recycling aluminum cans uses much less energy, creates less pollution and uses fewer
natural resources than manufacturing virgin aluminum, recycling aluminum cans makes a
significant difference,” says Municipality of Anchorage Solid Waste Services recycling coordinator
Jeanne Carlson. “And aluminum cans are recyclable again and again!”
Data will be gathered from each of the recyclers in Anchorage at the end of the month and
submitted to the challenge organizers. Currently, more than 40 cities from across the U.S. are
signed up to compete. Let’s see how Anchorage stacks up!
A total of $70,000 will be awarded to municipalities competing in four categories:
Most Cans Collected
A $5,000 award will be presented to the top four cities that collect the most recyclable
aluminum beverage cans from October 1- October 29, 2010. (the totals are calculated on a per
Most Innovative Ideas
The top three cities with the most innovative idea for promoting aluminum beverage can recycling
will each win a $5,000 award.
Most Innovative Ideas for Cities Partnering with Keep America Beautiful
$5,000 will also be awarded to the top four cities that work with their local KAB affiliate to create
the most innovative ideas to promote aluminum beverage can recycling. The supporting KAB
affiliates will be eligible for $2,500.
American Recycler Video Award
Create a recycling video to be used for the 2011 Cans for Cash campaign. Videos can be up to two
minutes in length, and must focus on aluminum beverage can recycling.
Anchorage has signed up for the first two categories – Most Cans Collected and Most Innovative
Ideas. Residents are encouraged to enter the American Recycler Video Award category
independently. Videos need to be submitted by October 29.
Winners will be announced in January 2011.
Drop-off locations for recycling aluminum cans:
• Anchorage Recycling Center (open 24/7), 6301 Rosewood Street, off Dowling, Anchorage
• Anchorage Regional Landfill recycling area (open during landfill hours) at Glenn Highway
and Hiland Road, Eagle River
• Carrs stores parking lots, Anchorage and Eagle River
• Schnitzer Steel, 9705 King Street, Anchorage
• Hilltop Recycling, 16849 Old Glenn Highway, Chugiak
Residents with curbside recycling service can continue to recycle aluminum cans in their curbside
carts. These cans will be included in the final tally as well.
Factoids about aluminum can recycling (courtesy of the Aluminum Association):
• A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as little as
• More than 50% of the aluminum cans produced are recycled. That’s an average of 113,204
aluminum cans every minute.
• Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal; two-thirds of the aluminum ever produced is
in use today.
• Making new aluminum cans from used cans uses 95% less energy and 20 recycled cans can
be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
• 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.
• Last year, 54 billion cans were recycled saving energy equivalent to 15 million barrels of
crude oil – America’s entire gas consumption for one day.
• Throwing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s
volume of gasoline.
• The average employee consumes 2.5 beverages a day while at work.
More information about recycling in Anchorage can be found at www.muni.org/sws. Or contact
SWS Recycling Coordinators Jeanne Carlson at 343-6274, email@example.com or Donna Mears at