Aluminum cans are the most expensive item in your blue box. One pound of aluminum makes approximately 29.51 cans. At June 2009 prices that works out to $0.023 per can.

Ontario has no return/refund program for aluminum cans and the cost of collecting your aluminum cans and taking it to the scrap metal recycler might not be worth it. However every aluminum can should be recycled.

It takes 95% less energy to make a new aluminum can from a recycled aluminum can. Throwing away a single aluminum can is like pouring out 0.03 liters of gasoline.

In Toronto the Knox United Church collects aluminum cans and sells it to a scrap metal recycler. The proceeds are given to habitat for humanity. This might be a better cause than helping your local municipality make money from your

As for 2L pop bottles each bottle is make of 0.114640 pounds of PET plastic. The amount of plastic in a 2L pop bottle is $0.039.

Prices for Recyclables

What recyclable commodities sell for:

-Aluminum Cans

High $2,209 a tonne in July;

Low $1,089 in January.

-Plastic bottles

High $434 a tonne in March; Low of $53 a tonne in November ($66 in January).


High $169 a tonne in August; Low $38 a tonne in January.


High $77 a tonne in March; Low $3 a tonne in January.

-Steel Cans

High $416 a tonne in July; Low $31 a tonne in November ($44 in January).

-Plastic Tubs and Lids

High $295 a tonne in September; Low $6 a tonne in January.

Source: CSR Composite Index, Ontario Spot Market Price Trends for January 2009


  1. Anonymous // August 29, 2009 at 9:46 AM  

    very good point, why is it that the beer store gives me 5 cents per can and 10 cents per king can, but yet my same exact pop can gets me 25 cents per pound which is like almost 30 cans

    everywhere in the usa they have machines where you bring in pop cans, plastic bottle, glass bottle and get a nice refund

  2. Anonymous // July 17, 2011 at 8:31 PM  

    When you buy your cans from the beer store, you pay a deposit, you are just getting your deposit back as an incentive to recycle, same thing goes for the liquor bottles at the LCBO and the recyclables in the states, they are not actually giving you money, they are giving you your money back, but only when you recycle!