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Uncrushed Aluminum Can Infestation

We have an Infestation of Uncrushed Aluminum Cans!

Aluminum Cans

It’s true, if you go into my garage, we have 2 full bags of uncrush cans that are practically spilling over!  My wife is sick and tired of looking at all of THOSE CANS!

I can’t blame my wife for wanting them gone, but this winter has been so cold, snowy and overall soul zapping, that I just didn’t have the spirit to try to eradicate them.

That will all change tomorrow though, I’m going to RAID the infestation and exterminate those nasty uncrushed cans!  You see, tomorrow the temperature is supposed to kiss at least the low 60s!  So I’m going to drag my son out into the garage to dig into them.

He started crushing cans to make money as an experiment.  In case you didn’t get a chance to read my article, it’s called, “Is Recycling Aluminum Cans Worth Doing Anymore?“.  In it, I examine if it’s really worth it to recycle cans.

Even though he likes the money and likes the environment impact that he is making, he still hates to crush the cans and does a sloppy job sometimes, but he’s only 10 years old.  At first I didn’t understand why he did such a sloppy job, but after spending a few hours crushing cans the last time, I understand.  It’s because it’s a hard process, especially for a light 10-year-old!

Since that last time I crushed the cans, I’ve learned how to optimize the process so that the cans could be crushed both more optimally and quickly.

MR’s Improved Crushing Process:

  • First I use the can crusher shown below
  • Next I’ve learned to slightly bent the can siding so that it’s just a very slight bend to it.  Too much and the can buckles.  When a can buckles, it bend and you get a bad crush since it just bends in half.  By slightly bending the can, the act of crushing the can is at least 2 fold easier to do in the can crusher device!  That’s because when it’s unbent, it has structural strength!  But a slight dent on the can wall is it’s Achilles heel.
  • Crush the cans above ground level and drop the can in the bag that’s directly below the crusher and can.  This makes it much nicer on your back.
Can Crusher

It’s good to find little tricks of the trade, and just a little bend on the can container makes a huge difference!

I’m looking forward to getting rid of the cans along with the bad weather!


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15 Responses to Uncrushed Aluminum Can Infestation

  1. In states that have a ‘bottle bill’ there is an army of freelance can and bottle exterminators which roam the lamdscape in a neverending struggle to end infestations and reap cash.

  2. Interesting is the only word that comes to mind. I’m of the frugal sort so the only type of cans that I have are from canned beans. I read your other article and I have to agree that I would find it hard to justify using gas to drive those cans.
    However for $6.63 an hour it wouldn’t so bad if I could stockpile the cans for a couple months and then drive them all in one go. Hmm… You may be on to something here.

    -Ravi G.

    • Actually this is my son’s project (he’s 10).

      He learns a little about entrepreneurship and get a little money in the process.

      It’s fun for him. As for dropping the cans off, the facility where we drop them off at is less than a mile from where I work, so no big expense there.

      I’ve been thinking about deducting the gas expense from his recycle revenue (feel funny using that word) just so he know what expenses are too.

  3. This may be a metaphor for all the things we don’t want to do! For me it is cleaning out the garage. I deal with that by doing a small part once a week. It is my method to resolving it without spending hours or a day or two cleaning it out. I know it may equal the same amount of time, but it does seem easier!

    • There is a lot of value in a smooth steady pace in such activities, that’s for sure.

      Once it’s freezing, I just don’t like to go out as much… too cold.

    • It make the can crush sooooo much easier! I would sometimes have to pull the handle twice when there was no dent, but with a dent, it’s like a hot knife though butter!

    • Lol, my grandfather had such a layout. I use to go over and crush cans at this house. He would then give me a little bit of what he reaped.

  4. I used to crush cans when I was a kid in CA. But here in Oregon, we need the full can so the machine can read the bar code so no more crushing. We only drink a few cans a month anyway so no big deal.

    • The pop drinker in my family is my wife, she’ll go through a few cans a day.

      I did it as a kid, and I’m glad my son is doing it too. The difference is my son was to do it whereas I didn’t…

  5. where did ou get such a neat can crusher? I have a garage full mess,or do you rent out your 10 yr old?