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How to Recycle Aluminum

Updated on May 9, 2013

Where to Find Aluminum

Aluminum is a simple and widely used metal that you can easily recycle for a little extra money. Most people think of soda cans when they hear about recycling aluminum however, there are several other things you can recycle for the aluminum.

Some rims from car and bike tires are aluminum and have some good weight to them. They are also fairly easy to come by. Computers can be great source for aluminum as well. The heat sinks on the CPU's are made of aluminum and can are extremely easy to remove. Many motors also contain fair amounts of aluminum as well.

Processing Aluminum

Aluminum is easy to test for, all you need is a magnet. Aluminum does not react to magnets so it makes identifying rather easy for anyone. Helpful tip: The stronger the magnet, the easier it is to identify.

Once you have confirmed that the metal is aluminum you will want to test any posts or welded areas to ensure that the entire piece is in fact aluminum. If parts, even small parts, are not aluminum you will receive a lower price per pound and it will be classified as dirty aluminum.

After you have your aluminum separated from the other materials you are done. Simply put it in a bucket, barrel, bag or whatever you like to divide your metals into and grab another piece. The more weight you have, the bigger your return.

Finding a Recycling Center

Recycling centers seem to be popping up everywhere these days and with the internet you can easily find one near by. However, just because its closer to you doesn't mean its the best choice for you. Factors you will want to consider when finding a recycling business to work with are:

  • What types of materials do they accept?
  • How much do they offer per pound per material?
  • Do they have any minimum or maximum weight limits?
  • What are their business hours?

If you are recycling aluminum for a profit and not just soda cans, chances are that you also recycle other metals and materials. This a a big factor when decided on a recycle center because with gas prices so high you will want to off load as much material as possible in each trip. So if a location only accepts aluminum and copper but you handle aluminum and steal, you will want to try to find another location to minimize your gas overhead and make the most out of your metals.


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