Recycling centers and scrap yards all over the country (and beyond) will certainly pay you for discarded aluminum cans. Here’s whatever you need to know to put some extra cash in her pocket v aluminum can recycling.

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Aluminum have the right to Prices

You might get approximately 5 cents per pound for aluminum can be ~ at a recycling center or scrap yard. The price fluctuates, so inspect with the centers or scrap yards near you come see exactly how much you might get today.

As the this writing, we witnessed these prices in the U.S.:

How much are Aluminum cans Worth?

59 cents per pound$25 cents per pound

The highest prices present up in California and other west states, and also the lowest present up along the eastern Coast. 

The price of aluminum can be ~ in the Midwest fall somewhere in the middle: Aluminum can prices close to me in Madison, Wisconsin, space 45 cents per pound, if the average in the state of Wisconsin is just 20 cents per pound.

Your adjacent recycling service or scrap yard can require a minimum weight before it’ll accept your cans, so inspect with the spots near you prior to hauling her cans over. 

And don’t avoid at aluminum. Scrap yards regularly pay for every kinds the scrap metal, so keep your eye the end for cooper, steel and also lead throwaways, too.

How countless Aluminum Cans every Pound?

It takes around 32 aluminum can be ~ to do a pound. The load of a have the right to fluctuates with miscellaneous brand designs, however they often tend to be approximately a half-ounce every can. 

At an average of 59 cent per pound, that renders a single can worth around 1.8 cents.

At the rate, you can make $20 for around 1,000 cans (or 84 12-packs that 12-ounce cans).

Looking for an ext everyday item you have the right to recycle for money? save these seven items the end of your trash cans.

State Beverage Container Deposit Laws

Depending on where you live, her cans can be precious a totality lot more than average. In the U.S., 10 states and also Guam have passed “bottle bills” the incentivize consumers to return beverage containers, including aluminum cans, with prices approximately 15 cent per container.

Technically, the amount is added to the sleeve price that the beverage, therefore returning your container just gets you earlier the extra money girlfriend paid. But a many of people still don’t return their containers — for this reason you can cash in on your reluctance.

According come the national Conference of State Legislatures, this is what friend can acquire for cans and other containers in states with bottle bills:

Payouts by State for Aluminum Cans

California5 cents (less 보다 24 ounces); 10 cent (24 ounces or more)
Connecticut5 cents
Hawaii5 cent
Iowa5 cent
Maine15 cents (wine/liquor); 5 cent (all others)
Massachusetts5 cents
Michigan10 cents
New York5 cents
Oregon10 cents
Vermont15 cents (wine/liquor); 5 cents all others
Guam 5 cents

Where to find Aluminum Cans

Once you start looking, friend can discover cans everywhere. Relying on how — er — scrappy you desire to get, you have the right to take her side hustle to this spots:


Of course, start at home. If you’re drinking a most beverages native aluminum cans, recycling them because that cash is a smart means to cut into the cost a bit. 

And if you generally drink out of plastic? see if you deserve to replace it v cans to rise your bottom heat — and also reduce her carbon footprint.

The Office

Keep one eye on mutual recycling bins at occupational if you job-related in one office or other common space. The rest room is normally a crucial candidate because that discarded cans, specifically if yours includes a vending maker or beverage refrigerator.

You can be surprised at just how lucrative your thirsty co-workers’ carbonated drink actions can be

The penny Hoarder contributor Steve Gillman told united state he as soon as earned $1,500 in a year collecting cans and bottles native the breakroom at the casino where he to be a blackjack dealer. In his state that Michigan, beverage containers garnered a 10-cent deposit, therefore his collections added up quickly.

Local Parks

We expect your neighborhood parks have actually plenty of recycling bins. These are great spots to gather aluminum cans.

Just lug along part gloves or hand sanitizer (or make a stop in the park restroom before you leave) — you could come throughout sugary, difficult containers or non-recyclable scraps tossed right into the dorn receptacle.

Outdoor Concerts

Any the end concert or event venue might be precious checking out. Begin with the recycling bins, but make a trip about the grounds for discarded cans, too. Concert-goers tend to toss their empties left and also right while partying in fields and also parking lots.


Festivals attract thousands of civilization to a venue, often for several days. Popular music over toward the end of the job or early on each morning come pluck empties out of the grass and off picnic tables. You’ll want to watch for occasions that are complimentary otherwise you might spend all your income on a multi-day ticket. If you’re going anyway, that’s fine. Think about roaming around with your collection bag just after a parade has actually passed by and the group is dispersing. 

Friends and also Family

Your friends and family space another an excellent source that returnable cans. If castle don’t want to address the hassle themselves, you can take that off your hands and also split the proceeds.

You might even collection up a path that includes a few stops at friends’ and family members’ dwellings once a month or for this reason to conference cans because that them. Nabbing mass returns choose this might make the trips worth your time, and also you can avoid digging about in public garbage cans. 

Bonus: antique Cans

If you occur to it is in collecting empties in a garage or barn it is been around for a while, keep an eye out for certain old cans. Some antique collectible beer cans room worth $35 come $1,000 each, so you could get lucky!

Think of Cans together Scrap Metal

Recycling is environmentally friendly, yes, yet it’s also cheaper for manufacturers 보다 producing brand-new aluminum. For this reason they’re happy come pay consumers a bit to acquire those an important cans back.

Recycling aluminum can be ~ to re-use — usually, come make an ext aluminum cans — uses simply 5% that the power it takes to create brand-new aluminum, according to The Economist. Making brand-new aluminum needs mining one ore, climate refining it with a unique process. Better to simply melt the ingredient we’ve already got.

Frequently Asked concerns (FAQ)

How plenty of Aluminum cans Does it require to Make $100?

At an average price of 5 cent per pound, you’d need about 5,000 can be ~ to do $100. That can be substantially reduced if you live in one area that pays greater prices. In ~ $2 per pound, you’d need simply 1,600 can be ~ (50 pounds). In a state through a 10-cent container deposit, you could make $100 v 1,000 cans.

How lot is a 12-ounce Aluminum deserve to Worth?

A single 12-ounce have the right to is worth around 1.8 cent on mean in the U.S., however could be as much as 15 cents in a state v container deposit laws.

How numerous Aluminum Cans make a Pound?

It takes around 32 aluminum can be ~ to make one lb on average. Weights fluctuate relying on brand and also can design.

Why is the Price that Aluminum can be ~ so Low?

Recycling as whole slowed down in the U.S. About 2019, due mostly to a to decrease in need for recycled materials from China, as soon as a major importer of our recyclables. That provides it harder because that aluminum rollers to revolve a benefit on your re-used aluminum. Through a lower demand from manufacturers, prices have actually dropped.

See more: Which Plant Cell Organelle Uses Light Energy To Produce Sugar S?

Is Cashing in Aluminum can be ~ Worth It?

Whether the worth your time to collect and also drop turn off cans because that cash is up to you. One means to watch it: It can be a time-consuming, messy (sticky) job that pays a reasonably low rate per hour girlfriend put into it.

Another way to check out it? Recycling cans keeps them out of landfills and reduces ours reliance ~ above energy-intensive procedures to create much more Mountain Dew can be ~ — and also if you deserve to make a couple of bucks when protecting the environment, why not perform it?

Dana Sitar has actually been writing and editing since 2011, covering an individual finance, careers and digital media. She’s written about work and also money because that the new York Times, Forbes, CNBC, The Motley Fool, The coin Hoarder, a obelisk for Inc. And more. Follow her work at Writer Steve Gillman added to this report.