Whether you’re a business that employs a large staff who regularly use the soda machine or you’re a single household going through half a 12-pack per week, you can make money from those old cans.

What’s more, doing this will contribute to the health of the environment by saving energy. Creating a single virgin aluminum can uses 20x more power than creating a recycled aluminum can.

How do I make money?

Many scrap yards will give you cash for aluminum cans. Scrap yards are interested in any metal they can make money from. According to iScrap, the average amount scrap yards will currently pay is 28¢/lb.

Based on the average 355ml can weighing 14.9 grams, about 30 cans weigh 1lb.

You can recycle any aluminum cans from soda and beer to juice and food cans.

Well, how do I do it?

iscrap locator

iScrap has a handy locator on their website where you can find scrap yards willing to pay for aluminum cans in your area.

1. Simply enter your zip code, and click “Search.”

2. You’ll see a list of scrapyards in your area. Click on one.

3. That scrapyard’s price list will appear and you’ll be able to see how much they’re currently paying for aluminum cans and other metals.

4. Get in touch with the scrapyard to see if they have any special requirements for how they need to be prepared.

5. Take in your cans, get paid and feel good!

What about states with bottle bills?

If you happen to live in one of the 10 states in the US with “bottle bills”, you can make up to 5x more money from your aluminum cans!

California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont all have “bottle bills” which means you can earn a fixed amount per aluminum can or plastic bottle that you recycle.

This amount varies by state but it’ll be between 5¢ and 10¢ per aluminum can. Plastic bottles can be worth between 5¢ and 15¢.

You can see how much your container is worth by looking at its label. In the case of cans, the amount may be imprinted onto the top.

My apartment is pretty small

A can crusher could be just the thing you need!

Rather than storing your cans in trash bags, crush them and throw them in a tote.

You’ll save a lot of space and the can crusher is a great way to get kids to recycle too!

I don’t really use enough cans but I want to do this.

Scrap yards will pay you for any amount of scrap aluminum you have but if you want to increase your earnings, ask your employer if you can set up an extra trash can in the office specifically for aluminum cans.



I don’t really use enough cans but I want to do this.

Scrap yards will pay you for any amount of scrap aluminum you have but if you want to increase your earnings, ask your employer if you can set up an extra trash can in the office specifically for aluminum cans.

Or ask around local businesses. They will more than likely be happy for you to collect any aluminum cans they have to recycle.

Businesses usually have to pay for trash pickup and in some cases can only have so much trash picked up per week. These businesses are your prime targets. They’d love to get rid of some trash for free!

I already recycle my aluminum cans curbside.

Amazing, thank you so much! However you recycle, you’re helping to reduce waste, save energy and fight climate change.

The option is always there though to make a little extra cash.