Aluminum Trays and Pans Put in Recycling Cart Clean Before Recycling Before you recycle your aluminum tray, make sure it’s clean. Traces of food are acceptable, but more than that will contaminate the recycling stream. Ways to Reuse Clean and Save Aluminum trays and pans can be washed and reused multiple times. You can also put them to use storing craft materials, shed or garage items, or catching drips from household plants. Did You Know? Why Recycle Aluminum? Recycling aluminum conserves 95 percent of the energy that is typically spent when making new aluminum, which makes it the most valuable item you can recycle.