Aluminum's biggest advantage for recyclers
Much higher resale value. Aluminum fetches 1 cent to 1 1/2 cents per can, or 35 cents a pound (57 cents a pound if baled). Steel is worth less than a quarter of a cent a can, or zero to 2 1/2 cents a pound (7 cents a pound if baled).
Its magnetic attraction. Using giant electromagnets, companies mechanically remove steel cans along with other cans from garbage. Even if the consumer can't be bothered, his cans might be recycled. An aluminum can, however, must be separated out by hand if discarded with the rest of a household's garbage.