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What Are the Dangers of Burning Aluminum Cans?

Aluminum cans need a very hot fire to burn.
golden aluminum drink cans piled image by photooiasson from Fotolia.com

Aluminum cans, such as those used for soda and beer, are recyclable. For people not near a recycling center, or for those looking for aluminum scrap, it can be tempting to try to burn them.

Burning Cans

People who do metal work and need aluminum can burn cans to obtain it, according to "Woodshop Dust Control." Some campers who do not wish to pack out cans from a campsite might consider burning them as an alternative.


Aluminum cans require a very hot fire in order to burn. Because they are so thin, the metal often oxidizes and chars. This makes it unusable to metal workers and difficult for campers to transport. Dust from damaged aluminum cans can be a fire danger.


For campers, it is safest to crush cans and carry them out of the campsite, according to "Canoeing & Camping Beyond the Basics." For metal workers, it is easiest to melt a can into a molten pool of aluminum.

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