Metalico Annaco: Where Every Day Is Earth Day

By Audrey Cielinski Kessler, Special to the Akron Beacon Journal/

Even before Earth Day became popular among environmentalists and others who cared about the planet and conserving its finite natural resources, Metalico Annaco was well into the Earth Day spirit as a leading aluminum recycler in Akron. The company wanted to get the word out to the community about the value of keeping recyclable aluminum cans out of landfills and into the hands of foundries that melt the material and give it a new life as new cans or something different but also useful.

“Recycling makes much more sense than starting from scratch with the raw ore needed to manufacture aluminum cans,” says Metalico Annaco Human Resources Manager Bob Toth. “There is only so much virgin bauxite ore in the world. It’s important to use what you have sensibly and save as much raw material as possible.” The savings from aluminum recycling can be significant. “Using recycled aluminum,” says Toth, “comes at a fraction of the cost of starting fresh. Energy costs are lower also.”

To make the point in the community and drum up enthusiasm for recycling, Metalico Annaco came up with a plan that involved Earth Day special premium pricing per pound for any and all clean, dry aluminum cans brought to the company’s full-service scrap metal recycling facility at 943 Hazel Street. Their interest piqued, families and individuals of all ages came out in droves. “It was a big hit,” recalls Toth. “People were lined up around the block waiting to drop off the cans they had collected for the event. Many thousands of pounds of aluminum were recycled that day.” Free refreshments and drawings to win prizes such as Cleveland Indians box-seat tickets upped the enthusiasm and created a carnival-like atmosphere, adds Toth, noting that the special-pricing day became an annual event.

Down the road, the next step was to improve on a good thing by offering Earth Week special pricing for six days, Monday through Saturday. “It was phenomenally successful,” says Toth, adding, “Mountains of cans were collected. To put the volume collected in perspective, Toth notes that 33 aluminum cans equal one pound of recyclable material. When compacted into bales that weigh between 1,100 pounds to 1,200 pounds, you get roughly 39,500 cans per bale. “That means a lot of aluminum cans are used and recycled in the Akron and tri-county area, keeping them from being buried in landfills,” says Toth. Instead, the baled cans from the Metalico Annaco facility are sent to aluminum processing plants where the cans are melted down, turned into ingots and sold to companies that turn them into new cans.

With the supply of used aluminum cans not likely to dry up any time soon, Metalico Annaco, one of the area’s largest scrap yards, is offering Earth Week special pricing from April 17 through April 22. Drop-off hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week and until 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. Snacks, as usual, will be provided each day. So gather up your aluminum cans, help save the planet and have some fun, too.

For more information about Metalico Annaco, call 330-376-1400 or go to