Read the NY Times article "The Reign of Recycling". A couple of snippets:
One comments from the article (which has drawn about 500 at post time) "...Years ago my brother, an economist, explained to me that recycling was wasteful, if you considered it from a total resource perspective. Ever since then, he bravely refused to recycle" by mwr.
While not necessarily discounted in most of the article, I have a hard time "throwing away" aluminum cans. They seem pure and ready to be re-made into something else. But, ultimately I have no data.