Are Canned Food Cans Recyclable?

Canned food is a convenient and affordable way to stock up on pantry staples. But when it comes to the question of whether or not canned food cans are recyclable, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

The short answer is that yes, most canned food cans are recyclable. That being said, it’s important to remember that the process isn’t always as easy as tossing them in the bin.

For starters, you should always rinse out your cans before recycling them. This helps remove any residue or food particles that could contaminate other items in the recycling stream.

Another important factor to consider when it comes to recycling canned food cans is that they are usually made from a combination of steel and aluminum. While both materials can be recycled, they must be separated before they can be processed for reuse. If your local recycling facility doesn’t have the appropriate equipment to separate these materials, you may need to find another facility that does.

Finally, when it comes to recycling canned food cans, it’s important to remember that you should never try to flatten them out before throwing them away. Flattening out metal cans can cause them to become sharp and dangerous – plus it makes sorting and processing more difficult for recycling centers.


In conclusion, while most canned food cans are recyclable, there are a few important steps you need to take before throwing them away – such as rinsing them out and separating steel from aluminum if necessary. Additionally, never attempt to flatten metal cans before throwing them away as this can create a safety hazard.