A can crusher is a device used for crushing aluminum soda cans for easier storage in recycling bins. While most recyclers don’t require you to crush cans, if you do recycle a lot, your normal bin may fill up quickly. The crusher gives you extra space by flattening either single or multiple cans.
The first can crusher was of course the human foot. People often stomped on cans to flatten them down either for recycling or for greater space in the garbage can. This could sometimes hurt if the foot did not come down properly on the can, so entrepreneurs eagerly sought a variety of alternatives that could be used with the hand.
To this end, there are now a host of can crusher devices on the market. The simplest, usually about 10 US dollars (USD) have you crush a single can at a time, by pulling on a lever that brings weight down on the can until it is crushed nearly flat. For about 20 USD you can find devices that will flatten numerous cans at the same time. This can save time, especially if you’re crushing the can by hand.
In the age of convenience however, we could hardly escape automating the can crusher so that one merely inserts cans and presses a button to crush them. These will cost a bit more, and may defeat the environmental purpose of these devices because you have to plug them in to use them. In other words you use energy in order to recycle, which may not make a lot of sense.
You can purchase a can crusher that can be installed on a wall, making the device easier to use since it can be placed at the most convenient “crushing” level for the user. If you do have an installed device, do keep young children away from it, because children could accidentally hurt themselves by placing a hand in the crusher and deploying the lever.