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Recycling Aluminum Cans Update, A New Center

Getting Paid for recycling
Getting Paid for recycling

My son started recycling Aluminum Cans as part of a school fundraiser so his 4th grade class could go on a special annual road trip to our capital.

Starting the Recycling Process

After the school fundraiser was over, my son realize that there was money to be had. and it helped the planet.  So showing off his budding entrepreneurial skills, he wanted to continue the recycling aluminum can activity.

So we collected cans for a few months, both my son and I crushed the cans, but I did the majority of the crushing.  My son didn’t get to experience the bagging of the cans, the transportation of the cans to the recycling center, the weighing of the cans, and finally the money received for delivering the crushed cans.  It was an interesting experience going to the recycling center, and not what I imagined it would look like.

Expanding the Experience

While driving about doing Christmas activities, my wife unintentionally discovered a recycling center in out local city near the edge of town.  Knowing that my son didn’t get to experience much of the recycling experience, she suggested next that I go there and take him along too.

This was a fabulous idea!  My only concern would be that this company is a middleman company that’s going to pay us a lower rate, but even if my fear is true, that could be a great learning opportunity for my son!  I could explain to my son how this middleman company just collects the cans paying the people a lower payout than the payout that we received when I took them to the larger recycler up where I work at.


I’m excited about the local recycling center that my wife found!  This will broaden my son’s experience with the entire aluminum can recycling process!  Once we get the next bag full ready, I think I will let him do the talking with the people at the new center.  I will just be backup in case something isn’t clear.

I’m look forward to seeing my son expand his business experience with this small venture!


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17 Responses to Recycling Aluminum Cans Update, A New Center

  1. Sounds like a great idea! Making money and saving the environment!

    Do write about the experience – I would love to learn what is involved. (And while you are there can you find out why CA pays more than other states for recycling cans?)

  2. Wait, doesn’t everyone recycle?

    In California, we have to pay a fee for many of our bottle/can drinks. The CRV (California Redemption Value) is about $0.05 a bottle and shows up on you receipt. In my area there is a bottle/can recycling centering in every neighborhood. As well as weekly pick up, the recycling trunk comes on the same day as the garbage trunk, from a special bin for recyclables.

    The trunk does not pay you for hauling away your bottle/can. (I only use my recycling bin for paper, cardboard and newspaper.) So I save up can/bottles and walk over to the recycling center and get some of the CRV money back.

    California has caught some people hauling trunk loads of can/bottle from Nevada and Arizona to scam the state and receive the higher recycling exchange.

    • Seem like Just CA and MI have such programs. Michigan pays 10 cents a can!

      It’s a shame all states don’t do this practice! It would greatly reduce the number of cans in landfills…

    • Thanks!

      It’s a delicate balance. I don’t want to force them on him (or my daughter). Most of the ideas I have are low keyed and it with continuous exposure that he’s learning money matters…

  3. MR – love the fact that you extracted the true value out of the endeavor. your time’s worth is much more than this venture can likely return, but the invaluable aspect is the lifelong lesson for your son. excellent!

    i attended UofM Ann Arbor – largest football stadium in the world. after each game, there were teams that would rush in and collect cans. always wondered how much they made after each game. the uni got free labor and the folks got free cash