Can You Scrap Empty Kegs

how much keg scrap
Can you scrap empty kegs? We receive a lot of email asking if you can scrap empty kegs. Folks ask because they are wondering how much a keg is worth in scrap.

Other people ask because they have watched some video online showing them how to convert an empty keg into a piece of art, bbq grill or some other project.



Grocery and convenience stores sell 1/2 barrels, 1/4 barrels, 1/6 barrels and full kegs but guess what? These stores do not actually own the kegs that they supply to you.

Full sized beer kegs cost beer manufacturers on average $150.00 a piece to have made. An empty keg weighs 30 pounds.

Depending on the material that the keg is made out of; aluminum, tin or stainless steel an empty keg is worth $15 to $55 in scrap.

Because of the high cost to even make a single beer keg beer manufacturers charge stores that supply them a deposit.

If you have purchased a keg recently you may have wondered why your personal deposit for the beer keg has went up considerably. This is due to high beer keg theft.

If the beer keg that you have has the beer manufacturers name stamped on it, you are not allowed to sell it for scrap or do anything with it other than return it to the store that you picked it up from.

You may know of a dishonest scrap yard that may take them but they are not supposed to accept them as scrap.

scrap mini kegsBeer keg scrap is such a big problem that many beer manufacturers are backing laws that require scrappers to show identification in order to sell scrap metal.

Sure, this is bad news for people who may have wanted to use an empty beer keg for a crafting project. In this case though, there is an alternate route that you can take.

You can contact beer manufacturers directly and explain to them why you need an empty beer keg. It is completely each manufactures choice but most will sell you an empty beer keg in the size that you desire.

All kegs are not off limits. One time use mini kegs can be sold as scrap metal. These types of kegs commonly have a gravity tap at the bottom of them.

Some mini kegs have a 12 or 16 gram CO2 cartridge within them. These types of mini kegs need to be depressurized before they can be sold as scrap metal.

Many home brewers use mini kegs to store their beer. Many however are moving toward using brown stopper topped bottles because mini kegs are flimsy and rust easily.




Empty beer kegs are not a type of scrap metal that you are going to find on the curb everyday.

recycle beer kegsIn the event that you do come across numerous empty kegs, the best thing to do is return them to the beer manufacturer for a reward or simply leave them there. Any cop that sees your truck filled with empty beer kegs and your truck does not say the name of the beer manufacturer on it, is going to pull you over quickly.

All beer kegs that leave the manufacturers also have a serial number on them. These companies track witch store, restaurant or bar has their kegs. My point is, don’t think about taking the kegs just to get the reward money.

If a store, restaurant or bar reports that their empty beer kegs have been stolen and you show up to the manufacturers with those kegs looking for a reward, your reward will be a shiny pair of cuffs.

At the end of the day, I am here to advise you on the right thing to do. It is not that people do not like scrappers because they continue to buy products and drive vehicles made of more than 90% recycled scrap metal.

What people disagree with is scrappers taking things that are not for sale or considered garbage to them. Do the right thing while you are out scrapping metal. Stay safe out there too.