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Getting Paid for Recycling Aluminum Cans Update

Getting Paid for recycling
Getting Paid for recycling

Getting Paid!

At my son’s school, they had the kids collect aluminum cans for a school trip to the big city in my state.  It was a win-win because the kids paid for their trip by doing something beneficial for the planet…

After the trip was over, I encouraged my son to continue to collect the cans as a money-making experiment!  I told him I would find a way to get money for the cans that he collected and crushed.

After he starting collecting the cans, I wasn’t sure if I could find a place to turn in the cans for money after all. I created the post called:  “Is Recycling Aluminum Cans Worth Doing Anymore?” because of doubts that it would be worth it (especially taking in a long drive to do so).

Well I’m happy to say that I did find a recycling plant and as an added bonus, it was less than 2 miles away from where I work!

So what was the payout that my son got paid?

For the 16 lbs of the crushed cans that I took in, he received $10.40! The price per can turned out to be 65 cents per lbs!

I was actually quite surprised with the payout!  I thought that cans were going for 40 cents per lbs in my area, so I expected a number closer to $6.00 for the single bag I took to the recycling plant.

It was a pleasant surprise for the both of us!

A side perk of recycling the aluminum cans was that I found out that the recycling plant also take many other metals too.  And the biggest find was that they take old computer and monitors for free!

Our experiment is now done, but we both are much better at the entire process, so who know…  I may continue the process…

Have you ever considered participating in a recycling program?

If you don’t care about getting money for your recycling efforts, check out nearby fire stations, call them and ask if they take aluminum cans or plastic water bottles.  I know that they will recycle the cans and give the money to burn victims, or at least that’s the case in our area!


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25 Responses to Getting Paid for Recycling Aluminum Cans Update

  1. The closest thing I got my 5 year old to do was to agree to sell his old toys so that he could get money to buy new toys.

    That worked pretty well, in fact we’re selling his big xmas present from last year this weekend.

    • We sell most of our kid’s stuff at the occasional garage sales that my wife sets up! It’s a lot of work though with a small return.

      I pointed this out to her, and she said it’s better than the stuff going into a landfill…

      So Kudos to you and your son for doing something similar too 🙂

  2. Wow, that was a greater payout than I expected, great job!

    Up here in Michigan, we get 10 cents a can, so there is never spare cans laying around to collect. For fundraisers, kids put out a circular asking people to put their returnables on the porch as a donation.

    Great tip on calling the fire station.

  3. We don’t have recycling pickup like a lot of other neighborhoods in Houston, so I do collect aluminum cans. So far, I have 3 stuffed bags in the garage and we’re working on a 4th. I’ll take them in as soon as I think I can fill up my car. 🙂

    • 3 stuffed bags! That’s awesome!

      I got lucky, I didn’t realize that a recycling plant was so close to where I work!!!

      Looks like we’ll be doing this for a while 🙂

  4. Wow, what a great payout! I had no idea. My grandma used to always recycle cans, but then someone in town kept putting sand in theirs, so they stopped accepting them all-together. I had forgotten all about it, until I read your post. I’ll have to check and see if they accept cans again.

    • My son is really into being green and saving the planet… So since I try to encourage him to be as entrepreneur-like as possible, this was a good experiment that looks like it will soon become a regular part of our process.

  5. wow! nice! we actually live in a place where there is no municipal trash collection, so you have to pay to throw away garbage at the town “dump” or pay for a private service to pick up your garbage. But… recycling is free! I guess that counts as a payout, comparatively.

    • Yeah, to bad there isn’t a collection center nearby! I had to google recycle aluminum to find the one that was just a bit over a mile away from where I work.

  6. “For the 16 lbs of the crushed cans that I took in, he received $10.40! The price per can turned out to be 65 cents per lbs!”

    That’s not bad at all, and more importantly, you are doing something positive for the environment and setting a great example. That’s a win-win-win. That’s awesome!

    • I agree, it’s a win-win all the way around!

      Sometimes there is value instead of just dollar value to be associated with such noble activities… Even if crushing cans is a stick process 🙂

  7. We used to save our aluminum cans all the time, but I was tired of getting such puny payouts. The storage space required and the time it took to save the cans was just too much for me. Now I just “donate” the cans to the city.

    Glad to see you got a pretty good payout though!

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

    • Thanks,

      For me the payout is low too, but my son sure was happy.

      I didn’t even know that our local fire department collects the can for burn victims, that’s pretty noble too.

      My son is a big firefighter enthusiast, so perhaps we’ll start to go that route instead… It’s all up to him, I’m just the driver of the cans…

  8. Ours nets less than 30 cents a pound, but still it’s something. We collect when we go on walks around town, crush them, and add them to the bags in the garage. Our recycling center is about a mile away.

    • Oh, nice and close! 30 cents hurts a bit, especially when compared to states like Michigan and California, but there value in keeping the planet green too!

      Kudos to you 🙂