Baling wire for aluminum cans

According to the EPA, the US produces approximately 1.9 million tons of aluminum can waste annually. We’re proud to support the recycling industry with high-quality baling wire products for aluminum cans and other recyclables.

Our partnership with aluminum can recyclers

Baling Wire Direct manufactures high-quality wire for baling aluminum cans. Recyclers use our box wire, stem wire, and bale ties to secure bales for transportation and storage. Our wire is made from 100% American steel for maximum usability and strength.

The future of the aluminum can recycling market

The market forecast for the aluminum can recycling industry is positive, with a steady growth rate projected over the coming years. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the aluminum recycling market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 5% over the next 5 years. The fastest growing market is the Asia-Pacific region, and the largest current market is North America. Market growth is driven by environmental concerns and the economic benefits of recycling aluminum.

The aluminum can recycling process

Since aluminum is highly recyclable, it is important that this valuable resource be kept within the recycling loop. The aluminum can recycling process involves the following steps.

  1. Manual sorting. Used aluminum cans are first transported to recycling centers where workers manually sort and separate them from other recyclables using magnetized sorting tools. Aluminum is non-magnetic, so it remains behind while magnetic metals are extracted.
  2. Automated size reduction. The sorted aluminum materials enter specialized shredding machines to chop the cans into small, compact pieces, improving transportation efficiency and downstream processing.
  3. Industrial cleaning processes. The shredded aluminum fragments pass through multi-stage industrial washing processes involving water, heat, centrifugation, and filtration to eliminate contaminants and purify the aluminum recyclate.
  4. Recycled aluminum melting. The aluminum gets fed into gas or induction recycling furnaces reaching over 660°C to melt the metal into a molten state for remolding into new stock.
  5. Remolding. The purified molten aluminum gets poured into casting molds for shaping into ingots, sheets, or other forms as it solidifies into final recycled products.

This sustainable practice eases waste accumulation and provides environmental benefits through circular reuse.

The benefits of recycling aluminum cans

The process of recycling aluminum offers extensive environmental and economic benefits, including:

  • Energy savings. Recycled aluminum production requires just 5-10% of the energy needed for primary aluminum smelting from raw bauxite ore, conserving over 90% of energy demands.
  • Landfill diversion. Diverting used aluminum from landfills decreases total waste volume and preserves landfill lifespan. Recycling one ton of aluminum cans saves 10 cubic yards of limited landfill space due to the compressed nature of cans.
  • Revenue generation. Selling bales of recycled aluminum to reclamation facilities generates revenue, which helps offset the costs of local waste management systems.
  • Natural resource conservation. Aluminum is exceptionally recyclable, allowing repeated closed-loop reuse while avoiding continued mining and processing of virgin bauxite. Circular recycling of aluminum cans back into new cans or other goods preserves non-renewable resources for future generations.

Aluminum’s sustainable, closed-loop materials recovery system offers numerous advantages over waste disposal.

The challenges of recycling aluminum cans

The process of recycling aluminum also poses technological and economic challenges, including the following:

  • Manually sorting aluminum from steel, plastic, paper, and other contaminants proves time-intensive and operationally expensive at recycling facilities.
  • Automated sorting technology requires substantial upfront investment to offset intensive manual separation demands.
  • Despite curbside programs, low public participation still hampers collection and sorting.
  • Volatility in commodity pricing makes the profitability of recycling facilities an ongoing struggle.

Despite challenges, the highly recyclable nature of aluminum provides an upside that recyclers hope to unlock through innovation and education.

Popular wire products used in recycling aluminum cans

The most popular baling wire products for baling aluminum cans include:

  • Galvanized baling wire. This is commonly used to secure bales of aluminum cans, cardboard, paper, plastic, and other recyclable materials. It is made of galvanized steel, which helps prevent rusting and ensures durability.
  • Black annealed baling wire. This is another type of wire used for baling aluminum cans and other recyclable materials, particularly with single-ram balers.
  • Single loop bale ties. Bale ties are used by smaller recycling operations to secure bales. They are commonly used in conjunction with manual vertical balers.
  • Stem wire. Wire sold by the stem allows direct feeding into automatic baler machines, allowing a continuous production pace with minimal down time.

The right wire will depend on the recycling operation’s baler type, daily volume, and storage conditions. For bales that will be stored outside, consider upgrading to Class 3 galvanization on our galvanized wire products. Class 3 provides much longer-lasting corrosion resistance than the standard Class 1 galvanization.

Common types of balers used in recycling aluminum cans

The most common baler machines used to recycle aluminum cans include:

  • Vertical balers. They are suitable for small-scale operations and can be used to compress aluminum cans into bales. They are typically loaded from the top and are capable of producing one bale at a time.
  • Horizontal balers. They are used for larger operations and can efficiently compress and eject high volumes of aluminum can bales. They are loaded from one side, compressed, and then ejected from the other side.

Our aluminum can baling wire sizes

We offer a wide variety of wire suitable for baling aluminum cans. Our products are compatible with all baler machinery, including vertical and horizontal balers.

Gauge is the standard for sizing baling wire. Diameter is inversely related to wire gauge, meaning that a smaller wire diameter corresponds to a higher gauge wire.

  • Our hi-tensile galvanized wirecomes in 11 and 12 gauge.
  • Our regular galvanized baling wire comes in 11, 12, 13, and 14 gauge.
  • Our black annealed baling wire comes in 9, 10, 11, and 12 gauge.
  • Our single and double loop bale ties come in 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 gauge (with half sizes available in select products).

If you’d like a deeper look at wire gauge, check out our explanation of American wire gauge sizing with an accompanying chart.

Aluminum can baling wire for sale

We make a wide range of aluminum can products. Order bulk quantities of stem wire, box wire, or bale ties. Click on any category to learn more.

Aluminum can baling FAQ

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EPA. (2023, November 22). Aluminum: Material-Specific Data | US EPA. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Retrieved January 15, 2024, from

Mordor Intelligence. (2024, 01 15). Aluminum Recycling Market Size & Share Analysis - Industry Research Report - Growth Trends. Mordor Intelligence. Retrieved January 15, 2024, from

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