Is Tin Recyclable?

can you recycle tin

Is Tin Recyclable? The short answer is: Yes. Tin is one hundred percent recyclable. All types of tin are recyclable including thin steel, or the actual element, tin.

However, there is a specific way you need to recycle tin. When you are preparing your tin to be recycled, it is very important to wash out any of the food from the tin can. So take your tin and wash it very carefully under hot water so that the tin is nice and clean for the recycling process.

Also, you need to make sure that when you are recycling your tin can or just tin, you need to separate the tin from any other metals. Here is a quick little way to check if your tin should go in with ferrous metals (which are metals that contain iron inside of them, like iron or steel) or non-ferrous metals (which are metals that do not contain iron in them, such as pure tin, or aluminum, which is more common than pure tin. )

Here is the test in which you can figure out if your material is tin or not. All you have to do is apply a magnet onto the surface of the material. If the magnet sticks, the material is ferrous (it includes iron or steel inside of it.) If the magnet does not stick, it is non-ferrous (it is made of aluminum or pure tin.) Most tin cans are actually made of aluminum, so just because the magnet doesn’t stick, doesn’t mean that the material is automatically tin, because it is most commonly aluminum.

Why isn’t tin called aluminum?

You might be wondering, why is it called a “tin can” if it’s actually made with aluminum? Well, to answer that question, a while ago, tin cans were super popular and useful. Tin cans were used a lot in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, even then, tin cans were still not made with tin. It was more common for these cans to be made with steel and then covered (or plated) with the material tin.

The reason why people made tin cans with steel is that it was cheaper and more commonly found than the rare material, tin. It was also a lot cheaper for the people who made the tin cans to make the cans with steel and then just cover them with tin to make them weather-resistant. When people started making the tin cans with steel and then just coating them with tin, they were also cheaper to purchase, which is when the cans started getting more popular, because they were weather resistant. Since they were weather-resistant, the military started using the cans since they were super durable, and a good way to contain food.

However, nowadays instead of using steel for the cans, we use aluminum. Aluminum cans are mostly used now to store soup, beverages, and other canned goods. So now you know how to properly recycle tin. You empty out all of the food from the can and scrub it in hot water to make sure that all of the soup or other beverages are out of the can. Then, you put the can in the recycling bin as long as it is in the bin with only other non-ferrous materials.


Hi, I'm Gina, mother of two sons and married to Wayne. I love working in- and around the house and my biggest hobbies are gardening and projects around the house. So I'll share a lot of tips and tricks with you around those topics.

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