Recycling aluminum cans is a great way to go green and earn a few extra bucks.
If you’re looking for a few unique money making ideas to try without investing a great deal of your precious time or cash, you could be just a few inexpensive recycling bins, some trash bags, and a little paint away from a good option.
Once you have the recycling bins you can recycle your aluminum cans and those of others to earn a little extra cash and also help the environment at the very same time.
Recycling for money is a big business. Companies in the aluminum industry have reported that they actually pay upwards of $800 million for recycled cans annually according to Earth911.
In fact, Waste Management has estimated the current value of the aluminum recycling industry to be a staggering $1 billion a year.
These numbers help to explain the widespread presence of these recycling facilities throughout the United States. 10,000 such facilities exist in the U.S. alone which means a recycling center is never far from your home.
How to Turn Your Cans into Cash
- Determine the location of the nearest recycling center. You can find these in the phone book or check for them online at Earth911.com or RecyclingCenters.org
- Determine where there will be a large volume of empty aluminum cans; places like stadiums, schools, and the like.
- Obtain permission from the operators of these facilities to set up a recycling bin in these locations.
- Procure large garbage bins for use as recycling containers to have aluminum cans placed in. Be sure to place bags in each bin to make collection easier and clearly label the bins to be for aluminum cans only.
- Take the bins and place them strategically in the high volume locations you determined previously. For large complexes, you may wish to use more than one bin.
- Make certain to check the bins regularly and empty them at least once or twice a week.
- Transport the collected cans to the recycling facility and exchange them for money.
Is Aluminum Can Recycling Still worth It?
Several years ago aluminum recycling was a great source of income even for adults, however with advances in manufacturing technology the can walls have been thinned to the thickness of paper, making for a far less profitable can.
While this might be a suitable income for a younger member of the family (perhaps as an allowance), the hourly wage may not be worth it for an adult, though.
The determining factor is going to be the amount you can get for each can which varies from week to week and is different for different states.
For instance, aluminum is purchased for $0.30 per pound in the state I live in (MO), but in other states (namely California and Michigan) the rate is set by legislation at $0.10 per can, making recycling in these places worth the effort.
If you’ve done the math you’ll find that in my state, cans typically go for $0.013 per can rather than $0.10 like they do in some other states. These states would increase your hourly rate from a humble $3.90 per hour to a whopping $30 per hour.
With such a drastic difference it’s not surprising that some have tried taking their cans to these more profitable states instead of staying close to home.
Look, I know this is not for everybody and as I explained the money you can make from collecting cans may not be much for most people, but if you are short on money, you have to do what you have to do.
And if there is no better option, then collecting and recycling aluminum cans is still a great way to make a few bucks.