Recycling centers and scrap yards anywhere the country (and beyond) will certainly pay you for discarded aluminum cans. Here’s every little thing you need to recognize to put some extra cash in your pocket with aluminum have the right to recycling.

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Aluminum have the right to Prices

You can get approximately 5 cents per lb for aluminum cans at a recycling facility or scrap yard. The price fluctuates, so inspect with the centers or scrap yards near you to see how much you could get today.

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

How much are Aluminum can be ~ Worth?

59 cent per pound$25 cent per pound

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

The price that aluminum can be ~ in the Midwest loss somewhere in the middle: Aluminum deserve to prices close to me in Madison, Wisconsin, space 45 cent per pound, when the typical in the state the Wisconsin is just 20 cents per pound.

Your adjacent recycling company or scrap yard could require a minimum weight before it’ll accept your cans, so examine with the spots close to you prior to hauling your cans over. 

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

How many Aluminum Cans every Pound?

It takes about 32 aluminum can be ~ to make a pound. The weight of a deserve to fluctuates with various brand designs, however they tend to be approximately a half-ounce per can. 

At an median of 59 cents per pound, that makes a solitary can worth about 1.8 cents.

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

Looking for much more everyday items you have the right to recycle because that money? save these 7 items the end of your trash cans.

State Beverage Container Deposit Laws

Depending on where you live, your cans could be worth a whole lot more than average. In the U.S., 10 states and Guam have passed “bottle bills” the incentivize consumer to return beverage containers, consisting of aluminum cans, through prices approximately 15 cent per container.

Technically, that amount is included to the retail price that the beverage, therefore returning her container simply gets you ago the extra money you paid. But a lot of human being still nothing return your containers — therefore you deserve to cash in on their reluctance.

According to the nationwide Conference of State Legislatures, here’s what friend can get for cans and other containers in claims with bottle bills:

Payouts through State because that Aluminum Cans

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

Where to discover Aluminum Cans

Once you begin looking, girlfriend can uncover cans everywhere. Depending on how — er — scrappy you want to get, you deserve to take your side hustle to this spots:


Of course, start at home. If you’re drink a the majority of beverages from aluminum cans, recycling them for cash is a smart method to cut into the cost a bit. 

And if you commonly drink the end of plastic? check out if you deserve to replace it through cans to boost your bottom heat — and also reduce her carbon footprint.

The Office

Keep an eye on common recycling bins at job-related if you work-related in one office or other shared space. The break room is usually a crucial candidate for discarded cans, particularly if yours includes a vending machine or beverage refrigerator.

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

The penny Hoarder contributor Steve Gillman told united state he once earned $1,500 in a year collecting cans and bottles indigenous the breakroom in ~ the casino whereby he was a blackjack dealer. In his state that Michigan, beverage containers garnered a 10-cent deposit, so his collections included up quickly.

Local Parks

We hope your neighborhood parks have plenty the recycling bins. This are good spots to conference aluminum cans.

Just bring along some gloves or hand sanitizer (or do a stop in the park restroom prior to you leave) — you might come across sugary, difficult containers or non-recyclable scraps tossed right into the not correct receptacle.

Outdoor Concerts

Any outdoor concert or event venue could be precious checking out. Begin with the recycling bins, yet make a trip about the grounds because that discarded cans, too. Concert-goers have tendency to toss their empties left and also right if partying in fields and also parking lots.


Festivals draw thousands of human being to a venue, regularly for numerous days. Pop over toward the end of the work or early each morning come pluck empties out of the grass and off picnic tables. You’ll desire to look for occasions that are complimentary otherwise you could spend all your income on a multi-day ticket. If you’re walking anyway, that’s fine. Think around roaming around with your collection bag simply after a parade has passed by and also the group is dispersing. 

Friends and also Family

Your friends and family are another great source that returnable cans. If lock don’t want to address the hassle themselves, you have the right to take the off their hands and split the proceeds.

You might even set up a path that consists of a couple of stops in ~ friends’ and family members’ homes once a month or therefore to gather cans for them. Nabbing mass returns prefer this might make the trips worth your time, and you can avoid digging approximately in public garbage cans. 

Bonus: neck Cans

If you occur to be collecting empties in a garage or barn that’s been approximately for a while, store an eye the end for specific old cans. Part antique collectible beer cans room worth $35 come $1,000 each, for this reason you might get lucky!

Think that Cans together Scrap Metal

Recycling is environmentally friendly, yes, but it’s additionally cheaper because that manufacturers 보다 producing new aluminum. So they’re happy come pay consumers a bit to gain those an important cans back.

Recycling aluminum cans to re-use — usually, to make more aluminum cans — uses just 5% the the energy it takes come create brand-new aluminum, according to The Economist. Making brand-new aluminum requires mining one ore, then refining it through a one-of-a-kind process. Far better to simply melt the stuff we’ve currently got.

Frequently Asked concerns (FAQ)

How numerous Aluminum cans Does it take to Make $100?

At an median price of 5 cents per pound, you’d need around 5,000 cans to do $100. That could be significantly reduced if girlfriend live in an area that pays greater prices. In ~ $2 per pound, you will do need simply 1,600 can be ~ (50 pounds). In a state with a 10-cent container deposit, you could make $100 with 1,000 cans.

How much is a 12-ounce Aluminum have the right to Worth?

A single 12-ounce deserve to is worth around 1.8 cents on average in the U.S., but could it is in as much as 15 cents in a state with container deposit laws.

How numerous Aluminum Cans make a Pound?

It takes about 32 aluminum can be ~ to do one pound on average. Weights fluctuate relying on brand and also can design.

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

Recycling as whole slowed under in the U.S. Roughly 2019, due greatly to a to decrease in need for recycled products from China, when a major importer of our recyclables. That makes it harder because that aluminum rollers to revolve a profit on your re-used aluminum. Through a lower need from manufacturers, prices have dropped.

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Is Cashing in Aluminum cans Worth It?

Whether the worth her time come collect and also drop off cans because that cash is up to you. One method to watch it: It can be a time-consuming, messy (sticky) task that pays a reasonably low price per hour friend put right into it.

Another way to see it? Recycling cans keeps them out of landfills and also reduces our reliance top top energy-intensive procedures to create an ext Mountain Dew cans — and if you have the right to make a couple of bucks while protecting the environment, why not perform it?

Dana Sitar has actually been writing and editing since 2011, covering personal finance, careers and also digital media. She’s written about work and money for the brand-new York Times, Forbes, CNBC, The Motley Fool, The coin Hoarder, a column for Inc. And also more. Monitor her occupational at Writer Steve Gillman contributed to this report.