Updated at: 14-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Are you curious about the potential cash value lying in your pile of discarded aluminum cans? You might be surprised to learn that Americans throw away nearly $600 million worth of aluminum each year.

This article aims to enlighten you on exactly how much those tossed away cans could actually be earning you if sold and recycled properly. Let’s uncover this hidden treasure together!

Factors Affecting Aluminum Can Prices

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Scrap metal market pricing

Scrap metal market pricing significantly impacts the worth of aluminum cans; it’s an ever-fluctuating industry influenced by various global factors. At present, the scrap price for aluminum cans in America swings between $0.25 to $0.60 per pound.

This valuation results from trading activity in local and international markets, driven by supply-demand dynamics, currency strength, economic stability, and even geopolitical events worldwide.

But there’s a silver lining: recycling centers consistently need aluminum due to its mighty eco-advantage – it can be recycled indefinitely without losing quality!

So despite market fluctuations, your cache of cans always has potential value waiting to be uncorked.

Weight of aluminum cans

Aluminum cans are incredibly lightweight, making them easy to transport and handle. On average, a 12-ounce aluminum can weighs only about half an ounce. This means that a pound of aluminum cans would contain roughly 32 cans.

The weight of the aluminum cans plays a crucial role in determining their value when it comes to recycling. When you consider that the current average price for aluminum cans is around $0.56 per pound, every little bit adds up.

So, the more aluminum cans you collect and recycle, the more money you can earn while also helping the environment.

Remember to check with your local recycling centers or scrap metal companies to find out their specific pricing for aluminum can recycling based on weight.

It’s also important to note that different states may have container deposit laws in place, which could increase the value of each individual can significantly.

How Much Are Aluminum Cans Worth?

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Aluminum cans are typically worth around $0.56 per pound, with the value of a single 12-ounce can averaging at approximately 1.8 cents in the U.S. In states with container deposit laws, the worth of an aluminum can can be as high as 15 cents.

Average price per pound

On average, the price of aluminum cans per pound in the United States is around $0.56. This means that if you’re looking to cash in on your collection of aluminum cans, you can expect to earn roughly 56 cents for every pound of cans you bring in for recycling.

Keep in mind that prices may vary slightly depending on factors such as location and demand for scrap metal.

So, don’t throw away those empty soda or beer cans – gather them up and turn them into some extra pocket change! It’s a win-win situation for both your wallet and the environment.

Where Can You Sell Aluminum Cans?

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You can sell aluminum cans at recycling centers, scrap metal companies, or even some grocery stores.

Recycling centers

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to sell your aluminum cans is through recycling centers. These dedicated facilities are specifically designed for accepting recyclable materials, including aluminum cans.

By bringing your cans to a recycling center, you not only contribute to a more sustainable future but also earn some extra cash in return. Recycling centers pay individuals based on the weight of their aluminum cans, with prices typically ranging from $0.25 to $0.60 per pound in the United States.

This means that even small quantities of cans can add up quickly when it comes to earning potential. So instead of letting those empty soda or beer cans go to waste, find a nearby recycling center and get paid for doing your part in preserving our environment.

Scrap metal companies

Scrap metal companies are an excellent option for selling your aluminum cans and earning some extra cash. These companies specialize in buying and recycling various types of scrap metal, including aluminum cans.

They often offer competitive prices based on the current market rates for aluminum. By selling your aluminum cans to scrap metal companies, you can contribute to the recycling efforts while also making a profit.

Look for reputable scrap metal companies in your area that accept aluminum cans, and reach out to them to inquire about their purchasing process and prices.

Remember, it’s always advisable to call ahead or check their website for any specific requirements they may have regarding quantities or preparation of the aluminium cans before bringing them in.

Grocery stores

Grocery stores are a convenient option for selling your aluminum cans and earning some extra cash. Many grocery stores have recycling centers where you can bring your cans and receive payment based on their weight.

The average price per pound for aluminum cans is around $0.56 in the United States, so you could potentially earn a decent amount depending on the quantity of cans you have.

Recycling your aluminum cans at grocery stores not only helps reduce waste but also allows you to contribute to the circular economy by giving these materials a second life.

So, next time you shop for groceries, don’t forget to bring along your empty aluminum cans and turn them into money at the same time!

Tips for Maximizing Earnings from Aluminum Can Recycling

  • Find local recycling centers or scrap metal companies that offer competitive prices for aluminum cans.
  • Collect and save a large quantity of aluminum cans before taking them to be recycled, as larger quantities often result in higher payouts.
  • Crush or flatten the aluminum cans to maximize space and increase the weight when selling them.
  • Separate aluminum cans from other materials such as plastic or glass to ensure you receive the full value for your recyclables.
  • Keep an eye out for special promotions or incentives offered by recycling centers, such as bonus payments or discounts on other purchases.


In conclusion, the value of aluminum cans varies depending on factors such as scrap metal market pricing and weight.

On average, recyclers can expect aluminum can prices to be around $0.56 per pound in the U.S., with additional value in states with container deposit laws.

By recycling aluminum cans, not only can you earn some extra cash but also contribute to reducing waste and preserving our environment.

So start collecting those cans and head to your nearest recycling center or scrap metal company to turn them into money today!