Can You Recycle Metal Water Bottles? (Your Full Guide)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

Klean Kanteen, Hydro Flasks, and Swell water bottles are some of the most common reusable water bottles out there. Furthermore, metal reusable water bottles are a great way to cut down on plastic, and they often tend to be healthier alternatives to reusable plastic bottles. 

However, there often comes a time when your metal water bottle needs to be replaced, whether from damage or regular wear and tear. So this might make you wonder, can they be recycled? Continue reading to find out this answer and more!

Can You Recycle Metal Water Bottles?

You can recycle metal water bottles, however, most curbside recycling programs won’t accept them. Instead, to recycle your metal water bottle, you’ll need to take it to a scrap metal yard and dispose of it there. Although, before you do that consider reusing or upcycling your water bottle for other uses.

Chances are if you’ve consistently used a metal water bottle that you care for the environment and will want to sustainably dispose of it when the time comes. Keep reading to learn about a few ways to recycle or repurpose your metal water bottle!

How To Recycle Metal Water Bottles

Metal water bottles can often last for more than 10-years before succumbing to wear and tear and need to be recycled or disposed of. 

Many of us know there are some common types of metal that can be recycled easily, but metal water bottles can often be a novelty to get rid of because their lifespan is so long. 

However, if your metal water bottle is completely worn out and you want to recycle it, that is possible. 

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as tossing your metal water bottle in your curbside recycling bin.  

Therefore, to recycle your metal water bottle, you’ll have to dispose of it at a scrap metal yard.

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This is because specific machinery is required to break down the metal of the water bottle and turn it into something new. 

However, you might be thinking that you paid a bit of money for your insulated metal water bottle, and the metal might be worth a bit of money from the scrap yard. 

Unfortunately, the types of metal used in water bottles aren’t particularly valuable and often require a very high volume to get a good return from taking it to a scrap yard. 

But remember, recycling your metal water bottle at a scrap yard is still a better option than throwing it away to end up in a landfill. 

What Materials Are Metal Water Bottles Made Of? 

Most metal water bottles are made of stainless steel or aluminum which can be recycled. 

Furthermore, aluminum is one of the most common materials to be recycled, but many people often have questions about whether stainless steel can be recycled. 

Luckily, both materials are completely recyclable, so no matter what brand or shape your metal water bottle is, you’re able to recycle it if you choose to do so. 

Are Metal Water Bottles Bad For The Environment?

Are Metal Water Bottles Bad For The Environment?

We know we can recycle metal water bottles but is buying one in the first place worth it? How beneficial are they to the environment? 

Metal water bottles are one of the most eco-friendly and frequently healthy options for water bottles. 

For example, when the water bottle is made of high-quality aluminum or stainless steel, they contain fewer chemicals than other options like hard plastic bottles. 

Furthermore, the metal materials are also often more durable than options like glass which is easier to break.

Here is a list of major pros to using a metal water bottle: 

  • Great insulation to keep water cold throughout the day 
  • Made of durable materials 
  • Can last up to or longer than ten years without needing to be replaced 
  • Made of recyclable, eco-friendly materials
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These water bottles can also be a more affordable option rather than continuously buying disposable water bottles repeatedly. 

Furthermore, the materials are ensuring that when people purchase a high-quality metal water bottle, they won’t need to buy another for several more years.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to using a metal water bottle alongside the fact that they’re very eco-friendly. 

Where Can I Recycle My Metal Water Bottles?

As stated earlier, it’s unlikely that your neighborhood curbside recycling program will be able to accept your metal water bottles. 

This is because the machines that these curbside programs take their materials to usually crush the recyclables, which they’re unable to do for a metal bottle. 

Therefore, if you’re looking to recycle your metal water bottles, you’ll have to take them to a metal scrap yard. 

You can usually find the nearest metal scrap yard through google maps or the website iScrap

However, if you have one or two metal water bottles that you’re ready to upgrade or get rid of frequently, the easiest and most sustainable option is to reuse and repurpose the bottles instead. 

How Do You Reuse Metal Water Bottles? 

If you don’t have a scrap metal yard to take your water bottle to and want to find a way to reuse them, there are plenty of options to do so. 

Sometimes it’s even more sustainable to reuse a product rather than recycle it. 

This is because recycling stainless steel takes a lot of energy and doesn’t always benefit the environment as much as simply putting the bottle to a new use. 

Some of the most accessible and easy ways to sustainably dispose of your metal water bottle are: 

  • Donate it to a thrift store. This makes it available to have another life rather than scrapping the metal completely. 
  • Carrying or transporting dry pantry goods. Whether you want to make more room in your home pantry or during your next camping trip, metal water bottles are a great way to tightly seal your dry goods and keep them safe and fresh over time. 
  • Use for your pets. You can use your old metal water bottles as a designated pitcher to refill your pet’s water bowl. 
  • Use it as a vase for your flowers. Swell bottles have a shape that’s great for this purpose. You can repurpose, paint, or decorate the water bottle to transform it into a beautiful vase for flowers around your house. 
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Furthermore, there are plenty of other ways to reuse a metal water bottle than simply the ones listed here. 

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle glossy paper, whether you can recycle frozen food boxes and bags, and whether you can recycle foam boards.

Conclusion 

Metal bottles can be tricky to recycle or dispose of, but it’s good to know the different options you have. Furthermore, simply using a metal water bottle instead of one-use plastic bottles already saves the environment tons of plastic and waste. 

Therefore, starting with small steps like recycling when you can and reducing your one-use plastic as much as possible is how we can all take steps in our everyday lives to be more eco-friendly. 

Author

  • Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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