Friday, January 16, 2009

...I Will CRUSH You...

No I am not having flashbacks to Rocky IV....I am talking about aluminum cans. You may think I am nuts but one of my "hobbies" has been keeping all the aluminum cans we generate and find and when I think we have enough take them to a metal recycler and sell them. My state does not have the deposit refund so I get a straight per pound price. I just checked yesterday with the recycler I usually go to and it is about .30 per pound at this point.

Now you won't get rich doing this but me and my wife usually take whatever we make and buy something for the house or our preps. I currently have 100 pounds in my garage (which is 3 large contractor bags - crushed and full) waiting to be sold - about $30 worth BUT I usually wait until I can fill the back of my pickup before going (usually twice a year for about 100-150 bucks.) If aluminum ever goes up again it becomes much more profitable.
I recently purchased the Easy Pull Can Crusher which I installed in my garage. I have to say it has made the job of crushing the cans considerably easier on my feet :)

It mounts to the wall with two screws (studs) and I placed a bucket underneath it to catch the can as they fall out after being crushed. The device is made of very heavy plastic and uses the leverage generated from the long handle to make quick work of aluminum cans. I HIGHLY recommend this bad boy as most of the can crushers I have seen are complete garbage.

There are a few things to keep in mind when recycling cans: I would highly suggest that you rinse the can out with water and let it completely dry before you crush it. A recycler who feels there may be a lot of liquid weight in the cans may reduce the payment you get. Another things to keep in mind is that most states that have the deposit return require the can NOT be crushed so make sure you check with the state you live in before you crush any cans.

I always crush mine because the recycler prefers it and I can store the cans more easily. Uncrushed cans take up a hell of a lot of room!!!

Lets face it you will never get rich doing this but I have always found it an enjoyable hobby that costs me nothing more than my time and the gas to drive 3 miles. Take the proceeds and put them in an emergency fund or use them to supplement your preps. Whatever you do have some fun, make it a game and a challenge!

...that is all.

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  1. After finding out what they are paying per pound also ask if they have any additional fees. We took all the cans the kids had saved for a year and thought it was a good price at .90 a pound. Afterward we discovered this place had a large handling fee. Money stolen from the kids imho - a hard lesson for all of us.

  2. Can price is around .29 cent a lbs currently but I do the same save a bnch then cash in since it all adds up!

  3. You diy types may find this interesting

  4. When I was a kid we used to save all the pop and beer cans. They went into plastic grocery bags that got tossed into the shed when full. Every couple of months us kids would crush all of the cans and we would go to the recycling place. I don't remember how the cash got split up but us kids ended up with some.

  5. Between my machine shop and a 12 pk a day habit,it still isn't worth the time to me.I took 450 pound's of 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum in for scrap a yr or so ago,only paid 55 cent's a pound.It took a year or so to collect,and half my shop!

  6. I've always collected cans. In Southern Ill, it's 35 cents. Last winter it was 78 cents. I'll keep saving until the price goes up.

  7. Used to collect cans as I rode my bicycle around. There were certain routes to take on a Saturday and Sunday morning that were treasure troves from the partiers. Didn't make a ton of cash, but kept the wolf from the door during a span of being homeless. Was even kinda fun.
    Thanks for the memory.

  8. Been saving them for years now man, easy money. I have a can crusher too much like the one you have but mine is about worn out. May get a new one with my next can sell. Took some off a few weeks ago = $25.00. I'm not putting that in the trash.

  9. Seen a guy at the park today walking around collecting cans, first thing I thought was I wonder if he reads this blog :)

  10. I went to and bought a regulator and a cap that goes on two liter bottles, and went to the welding shop and got a tank of co2. Initial setup is around $100 for all first class. I go through about 3 bottles a week of club soda with lemon juice. You can make em however you want, I avoid the sugar. That's $12 a month if they're a buck each from the store, $144 per year. The co2 costs $14 a year. You can do the math. Takes about 30 seconds to make more.

  11. I have a very small kitchen, and whilst I would like to recycle it is sometimes difficult because of limited space! Thanks for the tip, got to get your money where you can.