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Kids aluminum can recycling business

This is a simple business plan for kids to start recycling and collecting cans in their neighborhood.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

This is a simple business plan for kids to start recycling and collecting cans in their neighborhood. They can feel good about this environmentally friendly business choice. They help save the environment and earn money. An aluminum can recycling business involves a relatively small start up investment. Drop locations can be added as the recycling business grows.


Remember, this is an environmentally friendly business, so keep product purchases minimal. Kids will need a large plastic garbage can with lid and gripping handles for each location. A chain and padlock is also needed for each can used for this recycling business. Cans should be lined to keep them from getting sticky and odorous. A can crusher is also needed to keep cans compacted for easy transport to the recycling center.

Preparing the trash cans

Parents may need to help younger kids cut an aluminum can sized hole in the top of each of the trash cans. Kids line the trash cans with plastic can liners. Use the lid to hold the liners in place. Push handles up into the locked position to hold the lid on. Chain is now strung through the locked handles and padlocked securely. This will help keep everything out of the recycling receptacle other than aluminum cans and discourage theft.

Receptacle placement

Place receptacles in or just outside of businesses selling aluminum canned beverages. Kids should ask permission from business owners prior to setting up their collection cans. Another great location is next to trash containers. Once again always ask the property owner's or city's permission prior to setting up the cans. Outdoor cans may require extra security measures, such as chaining the can to a fence or other stationary object.


Signs can be made for the body of the trash cans stating that this is a kids business to protect the environment. On the lid next to the holes for aluminum cans, a simple aluminum can recycling only sign should suffice. The can then becomes it's own advertising. When given a convenient option, most people would rather recycle an aluminum can than throw it away. That's the beauty of this kids' business.

Work load

Once the cans are in place, kids have to keep them clean and frequently emptied. Once a week (more often if necessary), kids take their keys with them to empty and re-line all the cans. Just unlock the can, pull out the bag of aluminum cans, re-line the can and re-secure it with chain and padlock. When arriving home with the cans, kids rinse the cans and use the crusher to compact them. They can then be transported to the recycling business for payment. Staying with the green spirit of the business, liners can be rinsed after use if not damaged.

It's easy to see that this is a very simple business for kids to run and a great way for kids to start learning to protect the environment.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

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