5 Questions To Ask Before Recycling Cans For Money

Saving up your old soda cans or searching for more throughout the neighborhood can be an excellent way to make a little bit of extra cash if you have a scrap metal recycler nearby. Although the process is relatively easy, make sure you know the answers to these questions before you begin.

1. Should You Clean the Cans?

Most recyclers don't require that the cans be clean upon delivery, but it's still a good idea to rinse them out if you will be storing them for more than a couple of days. Most aluminum cans will have a sticky residue inside, typically sugary, which can attract a variety of pests such as ants and wasps. This can be a huge issue if you are storing the cans in your home or garage. A quick rinse with water should get rid of most of the residue. 

2. Are All Cans Aluminum?

The majority of beverage cans are aluminum, but some other types of food storage cans may be made of steel or other metals. Many recyclers will not take loads of mixed metals, or they may pay less if there are metals other than aluminum in the load. When in doubt, check the can with a magnet. A magnet will be attracted to steel, but not to aluminum. A quick pass with a magnet as you collect the cans can help you better divide the load for maximum profits at recycling. 

3. Is Crushing Necessary?

It's obvious that crushed cans take up less space, which can make it easier to store a larger load before taking it into the recycler. There are special crushing devices you can purchase or make if you don't want to spend your time stomping on the cans. Some recyclers may only accept crushed cans for the same space-saving reasons, while others may have no preference. Make sure to check with the specific recycler before making the decision to skip crushing.

4. Does the Recycler Have a Minimum?

Minimum loads are common, especially at a busy recycling yard. Minimums are typically measured in pounds, and you must reach the minimum before you can realize any form of payout. Be aware of the minimum before taking the time to bring down your load of aluminum so that you can avoid a wasted trip.

5. Did You Check Current Prices?

Aluminum prices change daily. If there are multiple recyclers in your area, call around to see what the day's prices are before taking down your load. 

Contact a scrap metal recycling service, such as Alpha Metal Recycling, if you have further questions.