Skip to content

Metal Matters

When it comes to recycling, metal is hard to beat. That’s because it’s endlessly recyclable - every last bit can be turned into something else. And it’s a cycle that can go on forever.

‘Make Metals Matter’ is a new citywide campaign to encourage Leicester households to recycle more cans, foil and aerosols.

We've launched the campaign with support from the UK metal industry as part of a wider national campaign, which has so far reached over 6.5million homes.

The campaign will target over 140,000 homes in the city with the aim of reminding people to recycle all of their household metal packaging waste.

  • It is estimated that over 168 million cans, foil trays and aerosol containers are used every year in Leicester. The metal they are made from is endlessly recyclable.
  • If all the metal packaging used in Leicester homes was collected for recycling it would help save around 4,500 tonnes in carbon emissions – the equivalent of over 950 cars off local streets for a year.

The metal items you recycle at home, such as food and drink cans, empty aerosols and foil could end up being transformed into a wide number of new products, from a designer watch or smartphone, to a washing machine or even a new bus!

Every time metal is recycled it saves energy, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and saves on landfill space – so it’s good news for the planet.

Best of all it doesn’t take a lot of effort on your part to make a big difference. All you need to do is give your metal items a quick rinse and drop them into your orange bags or shared recycling bin. It’s as easy as that.

The empty can you recycle today could be back on the supermarket shelf as another can in as little as 60 days!

From your household recycling collection, the cans, foil and empty aerosols you save are taken to a materials recycling facility where technology is used to separate the different metals into steel and aluminium before they are baled and sent for reprocessing.

The reprocessing involves melting and recasting the metal, before sending it for manufacturing. The recycled metal is used to produce all sorts of everyday items like cameras, irons and kettles as well as more food tins and cans.

All metal is endlessly recyclable.

Please put the following items in your orange bags or shared recycling bin:
  • Drink cans
  • Food tins
  • Pet food tins
  • Empty aerosols
  • Metal lids from jars and bottles
  • Kitchen foil (clean)
  • Foil trays (clean)
  • Sweet / biscuit tins
Please make sure aerosols are empty and any food has been rinsed from cans, tins and foil. Don’t worry about removing the labels.

Find out what you put in your orange bags/shared recycling bins

Some metals can't be recycled in your orange bags, but can be still recycled (see list below):

  • Empty metal paint tins and lids
  • Garden tools
  • Pots and pans
  • Cutlery
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Door handles
  • Bikes
  • Large and small electrical items
Take them to your nearest recycling centre. Find my nearest recycling centre.

  • Every household in the UK use an average of 12 metres of foil per month.
  • Britain uses over 425,000 miles of household foil every year - that'll take you around the world 17 times!
  • 7 billion drink cans are sold in the UK each year.
  • Every aluminium drinks can recycled saves enough energy to run a TV for 4 hours!
  • Putting just two extra aluminium drinks cans into your orange recycling bag will save enough energy to power a computer for 12 hours.