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Aluminum Can Recycling For Profit

Updated on April 13, 2015


You probably have seen many aluminum cans scattered around and discarded and consider them trash, but all those cans are worth money that you could be pocketing in cash. There are a number of ways you could cash in on aluminum cans that others consider trash and they will probably give them to you for free. Be aware that this is probably not a way to get rich but you may be able to make some extra money.

The Hard Way

If you have a lot of time on your hands and don't mind making less than minimum wage you could go around the neighborhood an pick up any discarded aluminum cans. You could check parks, roadsides, trashy areas, parking lots, trails, garbage cans and anywhere else people may be present. You will probably not make minimum wage but it would be an excuse to get out and exercise while helping the environment. This is also a good way for kids to make some extra spending money.

Start an Aluminum Can Recycling Route

A better way to get a lot more aluminum cans would be to start an aluminum can recycling route. You could start out by asking family and friends to save their cans, but you could also talk to business owners, and ask if you could place an aluminum can recycling bin in their business. A place with soda vending machines would be a good location as people are constantly buying sodas and may recycle them in your bin. You could also place them by garbage cans if the owner is ok with that. I see many aluminum cans in the trash and if someone places an aluminum can recycling bin there some of them would probably get recycled.

Selling Your Aluminum Cans

To sell your aluminum cans you will need to find a scrap metal recycler that will buy your aluminum cans. You can search online or on your smartphone for scrap metal recyclers and your zip code or look one up in a phonebook. If there is more than one in your area call each one and ask how much they buy aluminum cans for and sell to the highest priced one. Different ones will buy for different prices so make sure you call and get pricing. Also take distance into consideration as you will have to cover gas and make sure it is worth your time.

Storing Your Aluminum Cans

To store your aluminum cans find some plastic bins or garbage cans that are leak proof and put your cans in them and store outdoors or in a garage as aluminum cans can get sticky and messy and possibly attract insects. I would not suggest plastic bags as they are more prone to leakage and tear easily. You can take your aluminum cans to the scrap metal dealer in those bins, just make sure you get them back when you sell your cans.


When collecting aluminum cans do not take them from recycling bins as this is considered theft. Also respect private property and do not climb into dumpsters or go in places that are fenced, or locked and obey all signs. If someone asks you to leave please do so respectfully to avoid potential problems.


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