What kind of Aluminum can be Recycled, All your questions answered

Aluminum power button with "To Be Recycled" Sticker

If you are ever curious about recycling as a way to make some money on the side or as a full-blown business Not all aluminum is created equal though, and there is often more efficient ways to recycle than picking up cans from the side of the roads or after the latest rock concert.  Here are the various aluminum types and what they can bring.

UBC Cans

Universal Beverage Cans make up at least 60 percent of all aluminum that is recycled.  This is generally what everyone starts out with when getting into the recycling business.  They can bring quite a decent chunk of change, if you happen to find a steady source of them that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort, outside of transporting them.  Local recycling plants generally offer the same rates for cans, due to this form of aluminum being the most consistent quality and composition.

Scrap Metal

Here is where you can potentially make a big break or waste your time hauling aluminum.  Scrap can be from car parts, tent frames, beach chairs, balls of aluminum foil, computer cases, and anything else that you can identify as aluminum.  The magnet test to see if your scrap is aluminum is sometimes worthless as it could have just enough in it to pass the test, but you may not get the full value of its weight from the recycler.

Workshops that deal with aluminum fabrications and custom manufacturing will also end up with a lot of leftover scrap metal that they can turn into a decent profit after collecting all the shavings, clippings, and excess.  Some businesses may not make much of it, but even a few ounces captured each day can result in hundreds of dollars by the end of the year.  This is easily recycled aluminum that will fetch the best prices at any recycling plant or aluminum manufacturing plant.

Safe Bets for Aluminum Products

The usual pie pans and Reynold’s wrap foil scraps are always acceptable aluminum products, no matter how silly it looks when you have 50 pie pans and 100’s of balls of foil rounded up.  Aluminum sidings that are damaged or needing replacement are also great.  In fact, some businesses go around neighborhoods, providing a “service” by replacing old sidings and fixtures, then selling the aluminum scrap when they’re done.  It’s like getting tipped for every job.

If you know of any vehicles, bikes, or small scooters that contain a lot of aluminum, it may be worth the effort to try to get them for dirt cheap on craigslist and extract the metal for profit.  Wheelchairs are another popular item that contains a lot of aluminum that is thick and heavy.  These types of things can be quick cash if you are good at separating the aluminum from any attached parts/metals.

Remember: scrapyards are going to payout more than junkyards, as the latter deals with more than just scrap metals and has a lower capacity.


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Author State Metal Industries

State Metal Industries., a South Camden mainstay, manufactures high-quality specification secondary aluminum ingot. We’ve been providing superior customer service since 1948. For more than a half century State Metal Industries. has been an industry recognized supplier of standard and specification aluminum. A busy secondary aluminum source melting millions of pounds of scrap per month, State Metal Industries has an unwavering commitment to meet individual customer’s unique needs. State Metal Industries processing, metallurgical and manufacturing expertise, and state-of-the-art technology have allowed us to develop long-term, successful business relationships with some of the best manufacturers in the U.S. and overseas.

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