Best Aluminum Can Recycling Prices To Make Money [Ultimate Guide]

Recycling aluminum cans kills two birds with one stone. It allows you to help the environment in your own small manner while also earning some extra cash quickly.

Yes, you can make money recycling aluminum cans. This article will teach you how to make money by recycling the product waste that often fills landfills. To provide you with a perspective, the approximately that made it to the landfills annually costs about $800 million in aluminum.

To be fair, 70% of used aluminum cans do find their way to recycling facilities. As a result, it is one of the most commonly recycled wastes. The low cost of aluminum could be part of the appeal. Of course, some people are concerned about the environment.

Begin your aluminum can recycling habit by scouring your home for empty cans. If your neighbors don’t mind, you can start looking for more cans in your neighborhood. Keep in mind that while recycling can be a quick cash strategy, your neighbors may want to recycle as well. In some states, the profit will be determined by the per-pound aluminum recycling prices on a given day.

How To Tell If A Metal Is Aluminum?

Make sure your cans are made of aluminum before dropping them off at the nearest recycling center. Aluminum can have a tin-like appearance. As a result, it’s possible that you won’t be able to tell whether your can is made of aluminum right away.

There is one notable difference between the two metals: magnets can attract tin but not aluminum.

When you compare silver to aluminum, you’ll find that when you rub silver with bleach, it turns grey and almost black. Aluminum is a metal that does not change.

What Are the Various Types of Scrap Metals to Recycle?

How Much Does An Aluminum Can Weigh?

When you are selling aluminum for recycling, you will get paid by the weight. According to a , it showed that the average empty aluminum can weighs 14.9 grams.

How Many Aluminum Cans Make 1 Pound?

If you want to put together at least a pound’s worth, you need to find . It means you need approximately 12,800 cans just to make it to $100 on the average cost per pound.

What Kind of Cans Are Eligible For Recycling?

If you need to know what kind of aluminum cans you can exchange for money, here are some possibilities:

  • Aluminum aerosol cans This isn’t the conventional scrap metal you’re thinking of, but aluminum aerosol cans that have been recycled. Remove the nozzles before taking a can to the nearest cash-for-cans locations.
  • Bottles made of aluminum are used to hold food or beverages. Check to see if they’re made of aluminum. Although most bottles are made of glass, this comparison of recyclable materials is the least of your concerns.
  • Aluminum food containers These aluminum food containers can be peeled back so you can get right to eating your meal. Spam and even canned pet food are common examples.

You can now see that empty aluminum cans do not only include empty soda containers when you think of recycling aluminum. 

See our guide on What is the best way to get rid of a microwave?.

What Is The Price Of Aluminum Cans Per Pound?

As of writing, scrap aluminum is worth $0.17 per pound, per .

List of States With Bottle Bills

To begin, what exactly is a bottle bill?

A bottle bill is a law that mandates that each recyclable can be paid a minimum of 5 to 10 cents. This will dramatically increase your earning potential. Only ten states, however, have bottle bills in place right now.

The following are the ten states that have bottle bills:

  • Aluminum, plastic, bi-metal, and glass are all used in California containers.
  • Any sealed bottle, can, carton, or jar made of metal, glass, or plastic is considered a Connecticut Container.
  • Glass, plastic, bi-metal, or aluminum containers up to 68 ounces are permitted in Hawaii.
  • Iowa Any metal, glass, or plastic sealed can, carton, jar, or bottle.
  • Maine Any sealed metal, plastic, or glass container with a volume of four liters or less.
  • Massachusetts Metal, glass, plastic, or a combination of metal, glass, and plastic sealable can, jar, carton, or bottle
  • Glass, metal, paper, or plastic container under one gallon in Michigan.
  • Metal, glass, steel, plastic, or aluminum sealed can, jar, or bottle under one gallon in New York.
  • Metal, plastic, or glass sealed can, jar, or bottle from Oregon.
  • Metal, paper, plastic, glass, or a combination of these materials can be found in a Vermont can, jar, bottle, or carton.

You can make a lot of money selling empty aluminum cans if you live in one of the states listed above. 1000 metal cans, for example, can help you earn $100. You can also benefit from the bill if you live near the border of any of the listed states.

Here’s the Seinfeld episode where Newman and Kramer try to make money by driving to Michigan with aluminum cans. In New York, you can sell empty metal cans for 5 cents, while in Michigan, you can sell them for 10 cents.

Thus, if you’re wondering, “Where can I sell aluminum?” One of the ten states with bottle legislation listed above may be the best answer.

The bottle bill has been imposed to make sure that buyers return their bottles when they are empty. This setup ensures that people will not litter and that bottles and cans will get recycled. States want scrap aluminum to end up in the right place.

See our guide on Money can be made by recycling cardboard.

Which Aluminum Can Deposit States That Pay Cash?

Aluminum can deposit states are those that follow the bottle bill. This means that when purchasing products packaged in aluminum cans, purchasers must pay a deposit. When customers return the aluminum cans, they get their deposit back. If you have to include US territory, Guam has been added to the list.

  • California charges 5 cents for containers under 24 ounces and 10 cents for containers larger than 24 ounces.
  • 5 cents in Connecticut
  • 5 cents Guam
  • 5 cents for Hawaii
  • 5 cents in Iowa
  • Maine charges 15 cents for wine and liquor containers and 5 cents for all other containers.
  • 5 cents in Massachusetts
  • ten cents in Michigan
  • 5 cents in New York
  • 10 cents or 2 cents for regular refillable in Oregon
  • Vermont charges 15 cents for alcoholic beverages and 5 cents for everything else.

From the list of places that buy aluminum cans for money, of the aluminum can deposit. It has been practicing this since 1971. Vermont followed suit in 1972. The latest additions were .

We can only hope that other states will offer incentives to deposit aluminum cans.

How to Get the Best Price For Aluminum Cans?

Bottle bill deposits often pay between 5 and 15 cents. Liquor bottles are the ones that have the most deposits on them. Maine and Vermont have the highest rates, with each liquor container costing 15 cents. If you live near a neighboring state that pays more, it’s worth your time to use plastic and aluminum recycling centers.

Alternatively, you should search for a Nearby scrap yard if you live in one of the other 40 states without bottle deposits.  

Why don’t all states have bottle deposits?

With the advantages that bottle bills provide, you’d expect that more people would join on board. Some states are finding it difficult. Proponents of the law have been defeated by a big majority in states such as Texas.

Another reason bottle deposits are not being implemented is pressure from , such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and the rest of the stakeholders (see the list below).

  • American Beverage Association
  • Anheuser Busch
  • Can Manufacturers Institute
  • The United States Distilled Spirits Council
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • Bottled Water Association of the World
  • The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is a trade organization that represents the
  • The National Food Processors Association is a trade organization that represents the food processing industry.
  • National Grocers Association

Strong opposition, such as that posed by the industries listed above, has slowed certain states’ attempts to pass a bottle bill.

However, it is not the only reason for the lack of a bottle bill. Logistics played a role as well.

Reasons for not pursuing such a measure include:

  • Deposits only address 3% of total solid waste and 7 to 25% of litter, so the state may not have thought it was important enough to include the bill.
  • The revenue from deposits is not shared with curbside initiatives.
  • Deposits may prove to be more expensive to implement than other recycling processes.
  • The cost of purchasing beverages has increased dramatically. Although the money is refunded, the initial purchase price has been increased.
  • Returning to the seller to get the deposit back can be inconvenient unless the buyer buys things from the same place on a frequent basis.
  • Distributors will have to spend more money as well.

You already know it’s not that straightforward. Non-deposit states have attempted to implement the practice as well. These were, however, either opposed or not seen as advantageous to the state.

How Many Aluminum Cans Does It Take To Make $100?

You’ll need at least 1000 metal cans to make $100. If you’re selling these cans in a state with a bottle bill, this isn’t the case. You may have to gather together more than 62 pounds of aluminum cans for a state that does not have the same laws.

Where To Take Scrap Aluminum Cans For Cash?

Each city should have aluminum and plastic recycling centers nearby. Sometimes, merely typing “near me where I may get aluminum cans” can provide you with a list of possible places. Going to also makes things a lot easier for you. This URL will direct you to the top nearest recycling centers to bring your scrap aluminum to for money.

Where Can I Sell Aluminum Cans Near Me?

You can take your empty aluminum cans to a scrap yard near you. If the location provides a phone number, you should call beforehand to find out how much they will pay per pound. Compare the prices of aluminum can recycling to those offered by other scrap yards and recycling centers. You can return to the previous point to learn how to look for prospective sites to sell aluminum cans for cash.

Aluminum Can Prices Near Me

As previously stated, it would be more convenient to call the purchasers and inquire about each aluminum recycling price. The price is not the same for everyone. Thus, just because you know the average price is $0.24 a pound, that doesn’t imply you’ll get it. Of course, if you live in a bill bottle state, you may be subjected to exorbitant charges.

Use or Google to help you get hold of aluminum recycling prices and reviews of each place you plan to visit.

What is The Crushed Aluminum Can Price Per Pound?

Aluminum can recycling pricing are technically the same for crushed and non-crushed cans.

If you look up images of aluminum cans, you’re likely to come across images of crushed cans. Cans that have been squashed can be found even in bins. As a result, you might ask if crushing your cans before sending them to the recycling center or scrap yard is a good idea.

It’s understandable that people have an immediate reaction to save as much space as possible. However, only plastic bottles are acceptable for recycling.

However, senior director Matt Meenan advises against crushing aluminum cans. When a can is flattened, it may be categorized as something that is flatter. Surprisingly, a crushed can may be categorized as paper. It can also fit inside the sorting equipment’s nooks and crannies.

Finally, crushing them may result in the machines counting less metal cans for the money owed to you. It’s better if the container is empty but not crushed, as this allows for proper counting and payment of the correct amount.

How to Make Money Recycling Aluminum Cans?

Empty metal cans can be a frequent source of extra revenue, especially if your grocery typically include sodas, canned goods, and other similar items. If you live in a can deposit state, you can get a lot more money for your aluminum can recycling than the standard $1.60 per pound rate.

Before you can redeem at least $100 at the scrap yard, you must first complete the following steps:

  • Locate and Collect Aluminum Cans Your ability to find and gather aluminum cans will be determined by the type of community you live in. You can collect a lot of cans if your neighborhood is a touch on the I-don’t-care-about-my-trash side. Unfortunately, this will necessitate a significant amount of effort. Suggest that members of your family and neighbors put their empty metal cans aside.
  • There’s a tremendous desire to crush cans. Inform your family about your plan to make money by recycling aluminum cans. Explain what occurs when crushed cans are brought to recycling centers and advise them not to crush the cans. Crushed cans, on the other hand, can be easily recycled with the use of multiple-stream recycling.
  • Put everything in one location if you aren’t ready to go to the recycle center or scrap yard yet. They’ll most likely fit in your garage or basement. When you’ve collected enough empty aluminum cans, take them to a recycling center. It’s useful if you have a huge vehicle, such as a pickup truck.

See our guide on For money, you can recycle wood pallets.

Where To Find Aluminum Cans?

So, you are planning to collect aluminum cans for extra income.  It’s a great a quick way for a child to make money!  Where do you go to find it, exactly?


You probably have recycling ideas for aluminum cans because you have them at home. The first place you should look for aluminum cans is your own home. You are well aware of the number of cans of food, soda, and other liquids you eat on a monthly basis. Create an aluminum-only recycling bin in your home or garage.


If you want to make some quick cash, you can’t be too scared. As a result, you must get out there and be prepared to collect aluminum cans for cash. Bring many large bags with you. Litter is more prevalent in some cities and events than in others. You can easily find a bagful just by walking around town.

You might be able to collect a lot of aluminum cans for money in one night if you time it right at the following events:

  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Fairs

Concerts, festivals, and fairs guarantee that a large crowd will congregate in one location. You can be certain that they will consume food and beverages. Not everyone disposes of their cans in the trash cans. As a result, you can profit from someone else’s misfortune.

It’s a terrific method for college students to earn money while attending these events and festivals.

Friends and family, neighbors

If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle collecting empty cans from strangers, enlist the support of friends, family, and neighbors. Tell the truth about what you’re trying to accomplish. Inform them you want to learn how to make money in your neighborhood by recycling aluminum cans. Give them a cut of the profits to motivate them.

Local Businesses

There will be more rubbish in local businesses than in residential areas. Several empty aluminum cans can be seen in business garbage cans.

Commercial garbage cans are provided by some businesses, while others rent a roll-off dumpster. Before trash diving, like your neighbors, you should approach the building owner for permission. It’s a unique method to make money, and you don’t want to come across like a robber in their back alley.

You can offer to pay a little fee for the cans in order to encourage collection on a daily, weekly, or most convenient basis.


Empty aluminum cans may also be found in offices. When you see people dressed up in suits and dress shirts, the first thing that comes to mind is probably scrap aluminum. Yet, if you want to supplement your income, you must begin thinking in this manner. Many office workers have their lunch at their desks, and some purchase soda from the vending machine. As a reward, employees at my first employment were given unlimited Pepsi in metal cans from the vending machine.


The same can be said about parks. Despite the fact that some people litter in beautiful gardens or parks, there is an chance for you. It’s a terrific way to make quick cash, and it’s also a good way to get your hands on some more empty aluminum cans.


There will be no creeping at your place of business. You might ask your supervisor if you can collect aluminum cans or if you can make it an office-wide effort. You never know, this could become a tradition at your organization that will go down in history. You and your team will be proud of what you’ve accomplished.


Where to donate can tabs for charity?

Only a penny is worth 23 can tabs. It is, however, a start. While some individuals are still sipping their sodas and soups, aluminum pop tabs are frequently neglected and even pulled off.

Can tabs can be donated for charity. Learn how to give them to the . The money collected through recycling will be used to fund its charities. You can only donate pop tabs for charity instead of the whole empty aluminum can because they have limited storage space available.

What is an aluminum can recycling machine?

It’s a lot easier to recycle aluminum cans with an aluminum can recycling machine. It can recycle 3600 flattened cans or 2400 non-flattened cans in an hour. Because of the high speed, pre-flattened cans will benefit the machine more. You can also purchase a machine with a flattening capability to move from one portion to the next without any interruptions. An aluminum can recycling machine is usually minimal maintenance and water-resistant for something that can tackle demanding operations.

How many times can aluminum cans be recycled?

Whereas other recyclable materials have constraints (plastics, for example, can be recycled up to nine times), aluminum metals have none. It can be recycled indefinitely without losing its fidelity. Aluminum can be recycled indefinitely, or indefinitely as some people claim.

Here’s a video on how to recycle aluminum cans:

How to start melting aluminum cans for money?

When you melt gold, you get ingots; when you melt aluminum, you get molten aluminum. To make more money recycling aluminum cans, some people have them molted and then reformulated into bars. When offered as clean aluminum, the metal is far more expensive. You can earn twice as much money as you would if you had to sell the metal in cans.

If you need to melt aluminum, though, you’ll need the correct tools and equipment. The steps for melting aluminum cans for money are as follows:

  • Smash the metal can to make more room in the vessel.
  • Wear safety goggles, thick gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of heavy leggings.
  • To put the cans in a kiln or furnace, you’ll need to use tongs. The temperature of the kiln should be set to 1220 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the melting point of aluminum. To guarantee that the aluminum metal has completely melted, wait half a minute. To recover the molten aluminum, use the tongs.
  • Molds Once the empty aluminum cans have been melted, pour the molten metal into the molds you’ve made.

Here’s how to melt aluminum cans at home in this video.

Remind yourself that you are not only making a few extra dollars, but you are also helping to save the environment. Melting aluminum cans back into pure aluminum requires less energy than generating entirely fresh aluminum.

What Are the Benefits of Recycling Scrap Metal?

Scrap recycling, as well as the concept of recycling metals such as copper (particularly copper piping and copper tubing), is a rapidly expanding industry. This is because many recycled objects include valuable elements, and governments and businesses all over the world are eager to reduce their carbon footprint and leave a better Earth for future generations.

Another incentive to recycle metal is because most resources on Earth are becoming limited, and mining new raw materials such as metals can be expensive. Scrap metals can be recycled or upcycled indefinitely, ensuring a stable supply of raw materials for a variety of products.

Recycling can help the environment by preventing dangerous compounds from being produced during mining and metal refinement operations, as well as saving a lot of energy.

Many recycling facilities have begun to recycle scrap metal as a means of supplementing their income, and many have made a fortune recycling common materials such as trash and recycling cans, common scrap metal home goods, broken air conditioners, damaged vehicle parts, and even aluminum airplanes.

When you consider the hundreds of thousands of pounds of pop cans and tons of trash produced each year, it’s clear that recycling has a big economic potential. There is also a pressing need to clean up the environment.

Implementing a bottle deposit program can help recyclers collect valuable pounds of cans for recycling. Tons of metal can be gathered and transformed into other materials by aluminum recyclers at a recycling plant or facility by giving an incentive for consumers to return their bottles, such as attaching rates for aluminum cans.

When it comes to aluminum and recycling, another advantage is that this lightweight and pliable metal is in high demand due to its versatility and wide range of applications. It’s also extremely long-lasting and can be used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

Aluminum’s value as a recycling commodity becomes clearer and more inspiring when you consider the vast array of products that are made from it. For example, you might have an aluminum lawn chair in your garden, aluminum pie plates in your kitchen, and aluminum is used in a lot of the metal on your car.

It’s also utilized to make planes, trains, and other vehicles. Many buildings are made of aluminum because it is easy to weld and shape, as well as corrosion resistant. It’s also utilized in a variety of consumer goods and as a conductive substance for long-distance power lines. Smartphones, laptops, TVs, TV aerials, some LED lights, and soda cans are among them.

To recycle as much as feasible, individuals must be educated about what sorts of beverage containers are acceptable for recycling. Recycling may be economical as well as beneficial to the environment.

See our guide on places where you can get your appliances taken away for free.

Aluminum Can Recycling Prices Summary

Recycling is a worthwhile subject that many people have not considered actively participating in. Most people are fine with simply arranging their trash for collection by the garbage truck. You now realize, however, that by being proactive in your collecting and recycling, you may make a positive impact on the environment.

Furthermore, you now have a side hustle to supplement your income. It won’t be easy to find aluminum cans for money, but if you have a system in place and follow some of the suggestions above, it can be profitable.

See our guide on Where can I get a free 55-gallon metal drum?.

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