Are Cat Food Cans Recyclable for Money? The Best Answer

Recycling has become increasingly important in modern society, with people looking for ways to reduce waste and contribute to a sustainable environment.

Many individuals are now exploring the possibility of recycling cat food cans for environmental and financial benefits.

This question comes to many people’s minds, “Are cat food cans recyclable for money?”

Yes, cat food cans are recyclable for money. The process is simple and easy to do. It would help to have a can opener, a recycling bin, and patience.

In this article, I will provide all the information you need about recycling cat food cans and potentially earning cash.

Are Cat Food Cans Recyclable for Money?

Yes. Cat food cans, like many other metal cans, are indeed recyclable. However, the recycling process itself doesn’t directly provide monetary rewards for individuals.

You may be surprised to learn that recycling cat food cans can actually be quite profitable. While the aluminum in the cans is worth a few cents per pound, the real money is in the steel.

Steel cans are worth about $200 per ton, meaning a standard 30-pound box of cat food cans can be recycled for nearly $6.

Of course, you’ll need to collect many cans to make serious money. But if you’re a dedicated recycler or have a large family of cats, recycling cat food cans could be a great way to earn extra cash.

Let’s explore how cat food cans can be recycled and how you can potentially benefit financially.

Are Cat Food Cans Recyclable for Money?


The environmental impact of cat food cans

Importance of recycling

Recycling is a critical aspect of waste management that helps conserve resources, reduce energy consumption, and mitigate pollution.

By recycling cat food cans, we can divert them from landfills, decrease the demand for raw materials, and lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production.

Challenges of recycling cat food cans

While recycling cat food cans benefits the environment, they pose certain challenges due to their composition.

These cans are typically made of steel or aluminum, which are valuable recyclable materials.

However, their small size, food residue, and potential contamination with other materials can complicate recycling.

Can cat food cans be recycled for money?

Scrap metal recycling

Cat food cans, made primarily of steel or aluminum, fall under scrap metal.

Scrap metal recycling is a common practice that allows individuals and businesses to earn money by selling recyclable metals to scrap yards or recycling centers. Therefore, cat food cans can indeed be recycled for monetary gain.

Scrap metal prices

The value of scrap metal, including steel and aluminum, fluctuates based on market conditions, demand, and global factors.

Prices vary significantly, so it’s important to research local scrap metal prices to determine the potential monetary return from recycling cat food cans.

Recycling options for cat food cans

Municipal recycling programs

Many municipalities provide curbside recycling programs that accept cat food cans along with other recyclable materials.

These programs simplify recycling by allowing residents to place their cans in designated recycling bins for regular collection.

Recycling centers and scrap yards

Recycling centers and scrap yards are other options for recycling cat food cans. These facilities specialize in processing various recyclable materials, including metals.

By delivering your cat food cans to a local recycling center or scrap yard, you can contribute to the recycling industry while potentially earning money based on the scrap metal’s current market value.

Online recycling platforms

In recent years, online platforms dedicated to recycling and scrap metal trading have gained popularity.

These platforms connect individuals and businesses looking to recycle their materials with potential buyers, creating an efficient marketplace for scrap metal.

Exploring such platforms can allow you to sell your cat food cans directly to interested buyers, ensuring a convenient and profitable recycling process.

Steps to recycle cat food cans

If you’re interested in recycling your cat food cans for money, here are the steps you can follow:

Cleaning and preparing cans for recycling

Before recycling your cat food cans, it’s important to clean them thoroughly to remove any remaining food residue.

Rinse the cans with water and use a scrub brush if necessary. Remove the labels and ensure the cans are completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Locating recycling facilities

Research local recycling facilities, including municipal recycling centers, scrap yards, and online recycling platforms.

Determine which options are available in your area and identify those offering monetary compensation for recyclable materials.

Please note their operating hours and specific requirements for accepting cat food cans.

Sorting and separating materials

Once you’ve located a suitable recycling facility, sort your cat food cans from other recyclables.

Separate steel cans from aluminum cans, as different types of metals have varying recycling processes and values.

Properly sorting and separating the materials ensures efficient recycling and maximizes your potential earnings.

Are Canned Cat Food Cans Recyclable?

Yes, canned cat food cans are recyclable. They are made of steel, one of the most recyclable materials. Over 60% of all steel cans are recycled in the United States.

The recycling process for steel cans is quite simple. First, the can is crushed and sorted by a magnet to remove non-steel materials.

The cans are then cleaned and placed in a furnace, melting and forming new steel products. So, if you have empty canned cat food cans, recycle them!

Are Cat Food Cans Aluminum Or Tin?

Most cat food cans are made of aluminum. However, some companies do use tin-plated steel for their cans.

Tin-plated steel is more expensive than aluminum, so it’s less common.

Can Aluminum Cat Food Cans Be Recycled With Soda Cans?

Yes, aluminum cat food cans can be recycled with soda cans. They are both made from aluminum, which is a highly recyclable material. Aluminum can be recycled indefinitely without losing its properties.

Are All Cat Food Cans Aluminum?

No, not all cat food cans are aluminum. Some are made from steel or other metals. The metal used for cat food depends on the manufacturer and the specific product.

Recycling Your Cat Food Cans

What to Do With Empty Cat Food Cans?

Most people don’t think twice about what to do with an empty cat food can.

However, there are actually many different ways to recycle or reuse these cans.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Use them as planters for small plants or herbs. Just make sure to punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage.

2. Cut the top off and use the can as a small trash can for your desk or work area.

3. Decorate them and use them as cute storage containers for things like pens, pencils, and other office supplies.

4. Make a wind chime by stringing together several empty cans with beads or bells in between each one.


If you have a lot of cat food cans, you may wonder if recycling them can earn you some extra cash. Unfortunately, while aluminum cans are recyclable for money, most cat food cans are not. This is because they are usually made from steel, which is not as valuable to recycle.

However, if you have a local recycling center that accepts steel cans, it may be worth taking them there instead of throwing them away.

I hope you’ve found the information in this article helpful. Please comment below if you have any additional questions about recycling cat food cans. I would be happy to help!


Hi there! My name is Koushik; I am a cat lover. I specialize in writing about pet care & food. I have a wealth of knowledge on cat food niches and related subjects. I have worked in the pet industry for over 5 years and am passionate about helping cat owners provide the best care for their furry friends. With knowledge of cat food and nutrition, I aim to share their insights and help cat owners navigate the world of cat food niches. I enjoy playing with my two cats, reading, and exploring new cat food brands in my free time.