A record 7.6 billion used aluminum beverage cans -- about 31 containers for each American -- were collected for recycling during 1980 by Aluminum Company of America. This is a 130 percent increase over 1979 collections of 3.2 billion cans. Alcoa said the 1980 collections represent nearly 331 million pounds of aluminum cans, or about the annual output of an average aluminum smelting plant.
Consumers received nearly $90 million for voluntarily returning the used containers.
William F. Hill, president of Alcoa Recycling Company, said the energy saved by recycling the cans was equivalent t o nearly 3.3 million barrels of oil.