How to Make Money Recycling Aluminum Cans & Paper

Updated February 21, 2017

Recycling is good for the environment, and it can be good for your wallet as well. Recycling aluminium cans and paper products can be an excellent way to bring in some extra money, all while keeping these recyclable items out of the landfill. To succeed at this part-time business, you will need the right equipment and a good place to store those cans and papers.

Purchase a can crusher to make it easier to deal with a large number of aluminium cans. Mount the can crusher on the wall of your kitchen, garage or work space. Just place each can in the crusher and pull down the handle to flatten it. Using a can crusher allows you to store 10 times as many cans in the same space.

Ask any farmers or horse-owning friends for used bailer twine to tie up old newspapers. This special rope is used to bale hay, and most farmers and horse owners end up with more than they need. If no bailer twine is available, purchase string or twine in bulk from a warehouse club or office supply store.

Solicit donations of aluminium cans and paper from your neighbours, friends and coworkers. Many people will be glad to give you their unwanted items, and that can boost your profit significantly.

Contact several recycling centres in your area to determine which one pays the most for aluminium and paper. Do not assume that the same recycler will have the best price for both products--it may be worthwhile to take your cans to one place and your paper to another.

Gather all of your recyclable items and make a single trip to the recycler or recyclers. Taking everything you have in a single trip will reduce your gas consumption and maximise your profits.

Keep track of how much money you make, and your expenses as well. Depending on how much you make, you may need to declare this income on your taxes. Tracking and documenting your expenses can reduce your tax bill.

Things You'll Need

  • Can crusher
  • Bailer twine or string
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About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.