Does Aluminum Can Fundraising Really Work?

Most of us touch aluminum every single day. What, you don’t believe me?

Well, if you’re an avid Coke or Pepsi drinker, then how many cans would you say you consume in a day? And even you’re one of those anti soda drinkers, you still likely use aluminum pots and pans on a daily basis to cook your food. No, well what do you line your barbecue grills with—aluminum foil? If not, then if your house has siding, I can almost guarantee that it’s aluminum.

See, aluminum is a very common material in our day-to-day lives, however many of us don’t realize just how prevalent it is.

The great thing about aluminum is that it’s a material that can be recycled over and over again without degrading it's strength. Recycling aluminum helps everyone involved—the environment, the manufacturer and you! But did you know that on top of all of the environmental and social benefits that aluminum can be used to raise money for charity organizations as well?

Welcome to the idea of aluminum can fundraising!

Pop can fundraising can be easily done by any church, boy scout or girl scout troupe, any team, or any one. Just like a paper or clothing drive, can fundraisers have willing volunteers collect and recycle aluminum cans in bags or bins provided by the city recycling depots.

The Benefits of Recycling Cans

The great thing about this type of fundraiser compared to any other is that you don’t have volunteers going door-to-door beg for funds. Aluminum can fundraising is great for a children’s organization because the kids don’t have to talk to strangers.

That’s the beauty of can fundraising—it’s completely passive, meaning that your volunteers don't have to be present to make money. Scouts, choirs, bands, team sports, and school fundraisers can depend on the bins to collect the profit.

And really who would ever find harm in giving when all you’re giving is a can that you would normally throw out or recycle at home for nothing.

Really, an aluminum can fundraiser is taking the nuisance of recycling away from the soda drinker. We will recycle that can for you—just place it in the bin. It’s a great community service that requests minimum involvement from the donor, while educating them on recycling awareness. What a great thing to teach our children.

Plus, your charity becomes the local recycling ambassador—a favorable stance in any community.

So is Aluminum Can Fundraising Effective?

Aluminum can fundraising really depends on the traffic and willing donators you have in your area, but one thing is for certain – crushed cans typically bring in steady cash flow for your fundraisers on a weekly basis.

A full large garbage bag of crushed pop cans will bring approximately $10 to $15 (recycled aluminum is purchased at about 70 cents a pound on average—depending on the price of aluminum in your state). Before you set up a recycling shop, you can contact your local scrap metal recycling outlet to ask about selling aluminum cans and to get a quote on sales per pound.

However, before you go can hunting you want to prepare your community by educating them on the benefits of recycling and on the organization or charity they will be helping. How do you do that?

Advertise To Spread Word Of Your Charity Work

To get the word out, have flyers printed with your fundraising event, organizational details and dates. You can also advertise on a wider scale by placing phone calls or taking out a newspaper ad.

Provide Recycling Stations

Your volunteers can’t be everywhere at once—and you can hardly expect them to be. So provide recycling stations, via large bins, so that neighborhood folk can conveniently drop their cans off, and so your volunteers can collect them periodically and reap the benefits.

You can also call your local recycling facility and alert them to your aluminum can fundraising efforts. That way, people can drop off cans on your charity’s behalf and the facility will credit your charity with the reward.

If you plan to run your own aluminum can fundraiser, you don’t have to post volunteers constantly, but you will need the following:

A Pop Can Crusher

You can purchase these through most hardware stores. Make sure to mount it in an easily accessible area with lots of traffic.


Be sure that you promote your event with visible signage, stating that proceeds will go to your charity, what it does and who will benefit from the donations.

Drop Off Bins

Many charities provide this in the form of plastic drums with a whole cut in the top or large blue recycling boxes. This way, folks can drop cans off when convenient, and volunteers can pick-up crushed cans once a week (or more often if needed), and take them to the recycling department to sell.


  1. Anya Russell says:

    My name is Anya Russell, Schoolteacher; and my pupils are currently discussing your event. I’m going to try it! Drink a soda from a can and recycle. This is a worthy cause that I would love to embark.

  2. james says:

    Ive always been into fundraising, for boccia. It would be nice if you got a bit more money for the cans when crushed. James

    • James says:

      I want funds by can ctusing

  3. Gavin Ayling says:

    I’m interested in this, because it was common in the UK where I’m from. Do you know which charities accept aluminum?

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