Recycling is good for the environment, can help out your city, and creates a supply of valuable resources for many industries – but did you know that it can also make you some money? The effort you put into recycling can pay off with some quick cash, as long as you know what you’re doing. Here are the top ways to earn money with the right kind of recycling.
Save Up Those Bottles and Cans
This is the obvious one, but still worth mentioning: The majority of states will allow you to trade in bottles and cans at designated areas and supermarket machines for cash. Sure, it’s only a nickel or so per bottle, but this can quickly add up for a busy family, recouping a significant portion of the original costs. Get into the habit of saving your compatible bottles or cans and trading them in yourself.
Seek Ways to Sell Components with Valuable Metals
The term “scrap metal” makes it sound like there isn’t much worth in this practice, but you can make a surprising amount of cash from the practice if you know what you’re doing. Some of the most valuable metals (that are also common enough to be worthwhile) include steel, aluminum, and copper. If you are thinking about throwing away components with these materials, contact local recycling and scrap yards to see how much money they may offer for dropping it off. As a general rule, less magnetic metals are worth more, so you can tap scrap with a magnet to see if it may be worth your time.
Sell Newer and Usable Electronics
Are your electronics still mostly intact? Even if they have stopped working (such as from water damage), they can still be useful for recycling purposes. Check with companies like Ecocell to see how much money you may be able to get from trading in old phones and similar items.
Return or Trade Old Media
If it still plays, someone out there probably wants to buy it. Instead of throwing away video tape, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays or other types of media, look for a local buyback program so you can instead trade them in for cash or credit. Some of it may be worth even more than you expect.
Sell Back Batteries and Ink Cartridges
Two common items that you can recycle for dependable money are batteries and ink cartridges. As long as vehicle batteries are still usable, you can drop them off at a variety of auto parts stores for some cash. When your ink cartridges run out, look for buyback programs from companies like Staples and Office Depot, which tend to offer a few bucks per cartridge.
Look for Unique Local Programs
There is a myriad of more specific programs that may be available in your area, so it’s worthwhile to do some research. TerraCycle, for example, will pay you to remove your trash in the right areas. Local companies may also pay for used cooking oil, tennis balls, and other items you may never even think about recycling.