Money Saving Tips

Turn Your Trash into Cash: 10 Genius Ways to Make Money Recycling!

Turn Your Trash into Cash: 10 Genius Ways to Make Money Recycling!
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Did you think that recycling bottles and cans was the only way to make money through recycling? With Earth Day coming up, we thought it was time to do something special. Last year, we talked about ways you could save money on Earth Day, but this year, we’ll take it a step further. Yes, you can take care of the planet and make money while you’re at it!

Check out our tips and tricks for making money out of trash. Seriously, can you afford not to?

1. Let’s Talk Bottles and Cans First!

Discover whether your state has a bottle bill. If it does, you can easily get cash back for every bottle and can you recycle. If not, don’t give up hope! Contact local recycling companies and find out whether they’ll pay you for bottles and cans. Some will even come to your house to collect them. Supermarkets and bottle stores often accept them and pay out a bottle or can deposit too.

Did you think bottle and can money can only be small change? Depending on how dedicated you are, you can make quite a lot of money! It’s entirely possible to make as much as $1,500 – especially if you collect from colleagues and friends too. Meanwhile, you get to know you’re doing your bit for the planet – that’s worth gold.

2. Make Money from Scrap Metal

Scrapyards make money from scrap metal – and they’re usually willing to pay for it too. Copper is particularly valuable, but if your scrap is iron, you can still make some money getting rid of it. If you have a lot of scrap metal, check whether the yard will be willing to fetch it.

If you work in the construction industry, you’re more likely than most people to gather substantial amounts of scrap metal. Don’t forget its potential for added income!

3. Your E-Waste Could Be Worth Money

Turn Your Trash into Cash: 10 Genius Ways to Make Money Recycling!

Look for websites or local businesses who collect old phones, broken computers and other types of e-waste. If you can find someone who buys them second-hand to refurbish and sell, you’ll get even better prices – but they will probably want working machines. Don’t forget to tell your friends! They might have some donations for you.

Whatever else you do, don’t try sending old electronics to the landfill. They are full of toxic chemicals that can leach out into water supplies and soil.

4. Sell Your Old Clothing

Check on Craigslist for people offering to buy old clothing. You can also try local second-hand shops or sell them yourself at a garage sale or online. Even very tattered clothing can go to make rags, so never throw old clothes away. If you haven’t got time to sell it, give it away. Almost every town has its charity shops.

5. Sell Old Motor Oil or Cooking Oil

If you’re into servicing cars, you’ll get a lot of used motor oil. If you’re into deep-frying, you’ll also have old cooking oil. Not sure where to sell it? Hit Google and see what you can find in your area. You’re sure to find a buyer for motor oil, and cooking oil is getting popular as a source of biodiesel, so you could be in luck.

6. Make Your Own Compost

Apart from saving you on store bought compost, extra compost is also easy to sell. Tell your friends, put up a sign, or advertise it on Craigslist. If your price is right, you’ll get plenty of takers. Have a horse? Manure is popular too!

Turn Your Trash into Cash: 10 Genius Ways to Make Money Recycling!

7. Recycle Old Car Batteries

Need to get rid of an old car battery? You might get a trade-in at the store where you buy your new one – or a scrapyard may be willing to pay for it. Just please don’t send it to the tip. Old car batteries are full of noxious chemicals.

8. Get Points or Money Back for Old Printer Cartridges

Staples offers ink cartridge recycling rewards. If you have to get a new ink cartridge anyway, why not recycle the old one for some money back?

9. Cash for Trash?

Check out Terracycle, the company that will recycle everything you knew could be recycled and then some. If they’re active in your area, you could be onto a good thing. Unfortunately, the money for your recyclables doesn’t come to you – but it does go to a variety of community charities. Worth the effort? Definitely!

10. Trash Rewards for You

Recycle Bank offers you direct rewards for learning about and implementing recycling. The rewards program focuses on local businesses near you. So you could get some sweet discounts. Alternatively, you can support green charities like the Arbor Day Foundation.

And Don’t Forget the Weird and Wonderful…

From wine bottles and wine corks to human hair, there are people who are willing to pay for things you’d usually throw away. eBay is a favorite place for advertising your valuable junk collection – and finding someone who’ll pay for it!

Your earth day message? Reduce, reuse, recycle – and if you can get further benefits for yourself or your community in the process, why not go for it?

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Turn Your Trash into Cash: 10 Genius Ways to Make Money Recycling!

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

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