If you collect aluminum cans for money, then you know how much space they can consume while waiting to be cashed out. To save space, perhaps you have considered crushing them, but you are not sure if you can still make money from them if they have been crushed. This question, along with other tips, will be discussed later in the article. 

Crushed cans can be recycled for money. Many people prefer to crush cans because crushed cans take up less space. This means you can collect more cans for a larger payout when you go to the recycling center. However, if cans are stored improperly, it can lead to pest infestations and other issues.

If you would like to know more about how you can make money from recycling crushed cans, continue reading this environmentally friendly article. 

There is Money to Be Made from Discarded Aluminum Cans

Did you know that in America, an average of 80 billion aluminum cans are discarded annually? That is a lot of potential money to be made, not to mention material to be recycled and repurposed. 

Although the price of metal varies throughout the year, aluminum cans bring an average of $0.46 per pound

So, for example, if you save 100 pounds of crushed cans, you can potentially earn $46.00; that is free money with a minimal amount of effort required for something that was just going to be thrown into the landfill or a public recycling bin. 

That may not seem like much money. However, if you acquire a large stash of cans, it can certainly: 

  • Fill your gas tank 
  • Help pay a bill
  • Buy something fun 

This is a perfect example of where proper collection and storage will help your wallet. 

The next section discusses ways you can get your family involved in the process of recycling crushed cans. 

Getting the Family Involved in Recycling

If you have a family with small children, now is the best time to instill good recycling habits. To make it fun, get your children involved in collecting cans and properly recycling them. 

Perhaps start a piggy bank with all of the money collected from saving cans. Set a goal such as a family outing or some other fun thing that everyone can enjoy. 

When your family sees the pennies piling up, they will get excited and take a more proactive effort in the collection and storage process, especially when they know there is a reward for their collection and recycling efforts. 

But, how does one properly collect and store aluminum cans for money? 

Properly Collect and Store Aluminum Cans for Cash 

As previously mentioned, it can take a lot of cans to make any serious money. That is why it is so important to follow the recommendations below to efficiently collect and store aluminum cans so you can make the most money for your efforts. 

Step 1: Rinse Cans Before Crushing

When you are trying to collect a large number of aluminum cans, it can take a while to get enough to cash out. During that time, any leftover liquids can become stagnant and emit a disgusting odor. 

Unless you have acres of property where you can store your crushed can collection away from your home and any out-buildings, it is highly recommended that you rinse your cans out before crushing and storing them. 

Another reason to rinse them out is to prevent an infestation of pests that can be attracted to the sweet smell of the leftover liquids. 

Step 2: Crush Cans

Once you have rinsed the inside of your cans, it is time to crush them. Everyone has their preferred method, and they may vary depending upon how many cans you have to crush at a time. 

If you are just crushing them as you drink them, then using your foot is probably the most effective method. 

If you have a large number of cans to crush, there are simple can-crushing devices that can be used to make the process faster and less labor-intensive. 

Step 3: Store Cans 

This is an important step. To avoid pests and unsightly clutter, you must find a spot where you can store your cans without the whole neighborhood being able (or having) to see them. 

Large high-density plastic trash cans or barrels make a great way to store crushed cans. Black contractor bags can be an effective solution as well, but keep in mind that if you are using any type of plastic bag for storing your crushed can collection to keep them out of the sun. 

If you have a large collection sitting out in the elements for an extended amount of time, the bags tend to dry rot, and then you have a big mess to clean up and are doing double the work. Try to find something that is portable and easy to clean out after you cash out your collection. 

Step 4: Cash Out Your Collection for Money

The last and most important step is to find a recycling center or metal scrap yard near where you live. Call them periodically to check the prices of scrap metal. 

When you have enough cans and the price is right, take those puppies to town and get your cash! Voila! You have your reward, and the whole family can see that it pays to recycle. 

This section will show some benefits and drawbacks to recycling aluminum cans. 

Reasons Why or Why Not to Collect Cans for Money

This table gives some reasons as to why you should or shouldn’t collect aluminum cans for money. For some people, the effort may not be worth the payout, but for many, recycling is a way of life. 

Benefits of Recycling Aluminum CansDrawbacks of Recycling Aluminum Cans
Create an activity for your family to participate in and learn valuable lessons about caring for the earth and saving moneyHave a part in making a positive environmental impact by reducing waste in the landfillMake extra spending moneyKeep your neighborhood looking nice and cleanRecycling allows old materials to be repurposed for new itemsCan attract pests if not cleaned or stored properlyCan take a long time to collect enough to make decent moneyRequires some extra space for storage while saving up enough cans to cash outRequires some physical labor to collect, wash, and crush cans

As you can see, there are different ways to view the can collection process, and while it may not be for everyone, it can help when you are a little low on cash or want to do something fun with your family. 

Benefits of Recycling Aluminum Cans Outweighs Drawbacks

The benefits of crushing and recycling aluminum cans for money far exceed the drawbacks of the process. Although you have to do some planning when it comes to storing and cashing out your collection, the money gained and positive environmental impact are worth the efforts you and your family have made. 


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