With inflation biting everyone's budgets, any money you can get back is a blessing. Even a few cents from turning in those cans and bottles can help. One item people don't often realize is recyclable is aluminum foil—or if they know it's recyclable, they assume that they have to place it in their home recycling bin instead of selling it as scrap metal. Here's a pleasant surprise: You may actually be able to take that aluminum to a metal yard.
It's Really Going to Depend on the Recycler, but It's Possible
An aluminum recycler should take clean aluminum foil, but whether you can actually bring the foil to the recycler will depend on the recycler. Some will take industrial scrap metal only, for example. Always call ahead to ensure you can give them the foil, and to find out if you'll get paid for it, given that it's still aluminum.
Food Is a Major Problem
If anything is going to stop that foil from being recycled, it's food. While foil is generally non-stick for food, it does pick up residue from baking, roasting, and more. That potato might not stick, but there's sure to be a layer of very browned, if not burnt, butter all over the foil. And if you bake something in a foil loaf pan, you can bet that food will get stuck toward the edges, which tend to be pleated and have lots of spaces where food can get stuck. That food can't be recycled, so the only things you can bring in are unused or very clean items.
Preparing Your Foil Products for Recycling
If the products are unused, such as old disposable pie pans that were never taken out of their wrapping, remove the wrapping and place the pans in a bag that you'll use specifically for aluminum. If the products were used, you'll need to clean them thoroughly. Foil needs to be scrubbed so all food residue is gone; any parts you can't get clean, you'll need to tear off and throw away. Disposable foil pans are tricky; some are made with rather smooth sides and are easy to clean, while others have those very typical pleats and wrinkles that trap food like it was going out of style. You may want to cut away and discard the pleated and wrinkled portions as those will be difficult to fully clean. Loose foil needs to be balled up and compacted, too.
Assuming you've called the yard and confirmed that they'll take the aluminum foil and pans, place them all in a separate bag from other types of aluminum such as cans. While the materials might be the same, the weighing process may be different for the cans (or those may be counted individually).
For more information, visit an aluminum scrap recycling service near you.