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Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:11 pm
by Miranda
I was amazed to see a post (somewhere?!) regarding the foil from an Easter egg. The advice was given to recycle the cardboard container and throw the foil etc into the rubbish bin.
I diligently collect ALL foil of any kind which includes minute things like the wrappers from cheese spread portions, yogurt tops or any other tops. Am I correct in doing so I wonder? .. :dontknow:

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:02 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I used to live near a guide dog centre and dropped all my foil off there, then our local council said they would take it with the kerbside recycling or your local recycling centre (used to be called the tip) may have a section for it, kerbside recycling seems to vary from council to council

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:05 pm
by Miranda
Thankyou but my post was asking about what sort of foil is for recycling.
I actually wait till I have a large sack full and take it to my local recycling centre but wondered whether there is only a certain type of foil that should be put there.

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:27 pm
by dave45
I presume that this foil is just aluminium, so recyclable. If you have a woodburner you can try making your own ingots (or blobs at least) by melting it :-)

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:29 pm
by GeorgeSalt
Aluminium food foil has very limited recycling value due to the contamination (the food stuck to it) - which can't easily be cleaned. It's one of those materials where the responsibility is on the consumer to Reduce rather than the council to Recycle. And leaves you wondering what happens to it with those councils that do collect it for "recycling".

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:36 pm
by diggernotdreamer
GeorgeSalt wrote:Aluminium food foil has very limited recycling value due to the contamination (the food stuck to it) - which can't easily be cleaned. It's one of those materials where the responsibility is on the consumer to Reduce rather than the council to Recycle. And leaves you wondering what happens to it with those councils that do collect it for "recycling".


Wouldn't the smelting process vapourise anything like food scraps

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:37 pm
by dave45
Probably more due to the low density of crinkled foil, George, but the stink of rotting yogurt won't help! It will soon burn off as will the paint. Try it - chuck your bits of foil in a bean can and stick it in the middle of your woodburner on boost. Be very careful though - molten metal is dangerous stuff. You can pour it with care. But probably best to leave it until the fire goes out and cools and inspect the remains.

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:47 pm
by dave45
some prices here http://www.letsrecycle.com/prices/metals

foil is indeed about a third the price of other aluminium scrap... at 25p per kilo

can't really see why there is such a difference though.

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:50 pm
by GeorgeSalt
diggernotdreamer wrote:
GeorgeSalt wrote:Aluminium food foil has very limited recycling value due to the contamination (the food stuck to it) - which can't easily be cleaned. It's one of those materials where the responsibility is on the consumer to Reduce rather than the council to Recycle. And leaves you wondering what happens to it with those councils that do collect it for "recycling".


Wouldn't the smelting process vapourise anything like food scraps


It's an extremely low value product.. link.

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:56 pm
by GeorgeSalt
dave45 wrote:some prices here http://www.letsrecycle.com/prices/metals

foil is indeed about a third the price of other aluminium scrap... at 25p per kilo

can't really see why there is such a difference though.


Bear in mind that the price for aluminium foil may be for clean trimmings from producers of aluminium foil products - not gross contaminated kerbside recycling. And because foil is made from different alloys to aluminium cans it has a much narrower range of uses when recycled.

Some more searching suggests that there is a consistent low level demand for foil, but it's a specialist area with only two UK smelters actively looking for it.

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:21 am
by Skippy
Our local council collect nowadays so mine goes in there but years ago I saved foil because Alcan were buying it and at the time it would have other wise been dumped. Being so light I tried to collect a large amount to make it worth while taking in. I squashed it and put it in bin bags and kept it outside. However, after a year or two the foil had started to "decay" and turn into powder (aluminium oxide presumably) so it never got taken to the scrapyard. As has been said it is very low grade scrap although it does seem a great pity to just send it to landfill.


Pete

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:21 pm
by dave45
Update:

I tried my own suggestion tonight... and squashed several aluminium foil pie dishes into a small bean can and heated it up in the woodburner til the can was glowing a dull cherry red.
The result was not as I expected - liquid pourable aluminium with a layer of scum on top - but a semi solid flaky mass of yukky slag.

I presume the surface area of foil, once it gets to such a high temperature, causes it to immediately oxidise into alumina crud. Different reclamation technique needed for foil maybe?

Re: Foil! What?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 10:35 pm
by Miranda
Skippy wrote:Our local council collect nowadays so mine goes in there but years ago I saved foil because Alcan were buying it and at the time it would have other wise been dumped. Being so light I tried to collect a large amount to make it worth while taking in. I squashed it and put it in bin bags and kept it outside. However, after a year or two the foil had started to "decay" and turn into powder (aluminium oxide presumably) so it never got taken to the scrapyard. As has been said it is very low grade scrap although it does seem a great pity to just send it to landfill.


Pete


Interesting point that! I take mine to the local dump but have never seen anybody else bother with it.
I have a drawer where I keep it in till I get a carrier bag full but am seriously wondering whether it is worth the bother! :dontknow: