According to the Aluminum Association, Americans earn nearly $1 billion a year from recycling aluminum cans. But because our recycling rate is just over 50%, that means there is $1 billion of aluminum cans tossed into landfills. So there is money to be made!
Aluminum is a commodity sold on the open market. So the price for the metal fluctuates every day, and your local recyclers may offer slightly different rates as well. It takes about 34 cans to make up one pound of aluminum. The price per pound will range based on the price of aluminum in the world market. To find out how much your cans can earn, your best bet will be to call your local recycling dealer and ask what the going rate is.
There are some states in the U.S. where there are “deposits” placed on aluminum cans. For instance, in Michigan, there is a $.10 deposit on every aluminum can, and designated locations where individuals can return cans to recoup the deposits. States with deposits on cans include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.