How to recycle aluminum cans for money

Updated February 21, 2017

Recycling is a way to save the planet by living a greener life, but it can also make money. Aluminium cans are one of the most popular items people recycle for extra money. The material is one of the most plentiful on the planet, and an estimated 113,204 aluminium cans are recycled each minute. Recycling one can saves enough energy to run a television set for up to three hours. This means recycling aluminium cans is not only easy, but is also a great way to save energy and resources at the same time.

Collect aluminium cans. Gather cans from home, work and even from friends. Rinse out and empty the cans after collecting them.

Crush the cans using a can crusher. Can crushers are cheap, inexpensive tools that attach to the wall. Crushers are beneficial because it helps to save space when storing the cans. Place one can at a time in the crusher. Pull the handle down, flattening the can.

Store the cans in a large dustbin or other similar container. Line the can with a trash bag to make disposal easier. The container does not have to be waterproof.

Find a local recycling centre that accepts aluminium cans. Wait until you have several bags of cans before making the recycling trip. Approximately 30 to 40 cans equals one pound. Aluminium prices tend to fluctuate depending on where in the United States the cans are being recycled.

Open a savings or money market account to generate interest on the money earned from recycling. Choose an interest-earning account to earn a return on the initial investment.


If no can crusher is available, cans can be crushed by stomping on each one. If there is more than one recycling centre in the area, choose the highest paying centre.

Things You'll Need

  • Can crusher
  • Dustbin
  • Trash bags
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