Recycling and the Environment

Wise Recycling is one of the largest, direct-from-the-public collectors of aluminum beverage containers in the United States, operating shipping and processing locations that support a network of neighborhood collection centers. The company operates facilities in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Mexico, Tennessee and Virginia. For more information about Wise Recycling, please visit our dedicated web site at


Wise utilizes scrap for a majority (approximately 70 percent) of its aluminum raw material requirements. Wise has a network of 30+ neighborhood collections and processing centers located in eight states. They provide metal to one of the most environmentally friendly producers of aluminum sheet, known as "can stock," used to make beverage cans. Wise uses recycled aluminum cans instead of bauxite ore to manufacture its products.

At those Wise Recycling collection centers, Wise buys used beverage cans from the public, as well as from municipalities that operate curbside collections and recycling drop-sites.

Since Wise is buying recyclables rather than selling them to the public, we call our business "reverse retail." Our customers receive money from us and go directly to local retailers to spend it. Collecting aluminum also is a way to raise extra money for area schools, churches and other civic groups.

Wise Recycling is the largest, direct-from-the-public collector of aluminum beverage containers in the United States. Wise Recycling was formed in 1998 when Wise Metals purchased the Reynolds Aluminum Recycling division from Reynolds Metals. Reynolds was one of the early pioneers of used beverage can recycling. Wise Recycling is a member of the National Recycling Coalition and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

Wise Recycling operates 7 shipping and processing locations. These locations support a network of 30+ neighborhood collection centers. This structure allows Wise Recycling to service consumers as well as industrial and independent recycling accounts nationwide.

From our recycling centers, aluminum and other nonferrous metal materials are sorted, graded, and packaged and then sent to melting and fabricating facilities throughout the country. The cans are then sent to a shredder, where they are processed into quarter-inch shreds. The shreds are then shipped to Alabama, where they are delacquered and put into a remelting furnace.

The molten aluminum is shipped to the Wise Alloys casthouse, where 30,000-pound ingots are cast for rolling into what is known as "can sheet" for shipment to our can-making customers like Ball and Crown Cork & Seal.

Used beverage cans are returned to grocers’ shelves as new cans in as little as 45-60 days.

The Environment

Wise Alloys takes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) regulations extremely seriously.

Wise recycles and reuses a large portion of its waste. For instance, Wise recycles and then reuses over 1.6 million gallons of oil per year, protecting the environment by creating a continuous loop for the use of the oil it uses in the production of aluminum sheet. Likewise, it also recycles and reuses over 275 thousand gallons of spent solvents per year.

Among the environmental operations at Wise Alloys are:

  • Drinking-water plant
  • Two sanitary treatment plants
  • Oily waste treatment plant
  • Chrome reduction plant
  • End-of-pipe treatment plant