You know the 3 Rs of saving the environment: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
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But did you know that you can also receive cash for doing these 3 Rs?
Earning money while saving the environment sounds great. Fortunately, small and large businesses are becoming increasingly interested in reusing, repurposing, and recycling various materials.
Many of them are even willing to pay individuals as an incentive to give up their unused items to be recycled instead of throwing them away.
Today, I run down all the ways you can get paid to recycle things that would otherwise go into landfills and become waste.
Get Paid To Recycle These Everyday Items
1. Glass Bottles
These are one of those items that you can put out on your curbside recycling bin to be recycled by your local waste management company.
Also, if you live in a bottle bill state and surrender your beverage bottles to designated centers, you get your bottle deposit back.
But you can also sell your glass bottles and earn some money from it.
Wine, beer, and spirit bottles, glass jars that contained sauces, jam, or baby food, as well as bottles that contained non-food items are in demand on eBay and on Etsy, as these can be used by crafters.
2. Aluminum cans
Aluminum cans are classic examples of items you can get paid to recycle, as recycling aluminum costs less than mining and processing them.
If your household or your neighborhood uses several aluminum cans, you can collect them, clean or at least rinse the inside, crush them to maximize transport, store them until the dollar amount you can get for them is worth the cost of transporting them.
Your local recycling centers and scrap metal centers will pay you for these cans.
3. Electronic Devices
The materials used to make your gadgets, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices, are harmful to the environment and should be kept out of landfills and thus out of contact with soil, water, and air as much as possible.
If your gadget is fairly new, or a few years old but still looks and operates as good as new, here are some websites where you can sell them:
However, if your gadget has seen better days, there are still companies that’ll still pay you to take it off your hands:
In addition, here are some electronics retailers that have trade-in or recycling programs:
Before you send out your electronic devices, make sure you’ve backed up the data and files you need and that you’ve cleared your device of your personal information.
See also: Where To Sell Your Phone
4. Printer cartridges
As working and studying from home become more common than ever, your ink, toner, and laser cartridges tend to pile up.
Instead of watching the clutter build up, you can actually earn from recycling these cartridges.
You can sell these empty cartridges on eBay, especially in lots. Or find cartridge buy-back websites that provide you quotes and often send you prepaid shipping labels for your convenience.
If you live near an office supply store, such as Office Depot or Staples, you can get rewards points for each empty cartridge you bring in, but these rewards are only of value in the store you got the rewards from.
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Most printer manufacturers, such as HP, Brother, Lexmark, Canon, Xerox, and others, have their own recycling and take-back programs. Check the websites for the manufacturer of your printer and cartridges to know the details.
If you Marie Kondo’ed your house recently, plenty of the items you’ve cleared are most likely clothing.
The environmental impact of producing clothes is massive, and so is the impact of every effort to reduce the number of clothing that are wasted and left to languish in landfills.
Like-new or slightly used clothing, especially branded ones, always has interested buyers. Sell it to companies who can offer it to these interested buyers, donate them to the needy, or transform them into other materials. Either way, you’ll get cash for recycling your clothes.
Here are some companies that will buy your clothes:
6. Cardboard Boxes
Almost everything you buy online arrives in a cardboard box.
And unless you return the items you bought or have your own business where you ship out items, those cardboard boxes have nowhere to go but the waste bin.
Why not sell these cardboard boxes and earn some change?
Chances are your friends and family have used cardboard boxes in their households that you can ask to have.
Commercial establishments, such as your local grocery stores, liquor stores, restaurants, and retail stores, may also be willing to give you their cardboard boxes instead of throwing them away.
Here are some companies who are willing to buy your used cardboard boxes:
Do you have too many books that are in good condition but don’t read anymore?
It’s not exactly cash, but you save the money to buy a new book in exchange for keeping your old book from the landfill.
8. Cooking Oil
Your used cooking oil can be disposed of by pouring into a container with a lid, cooling it, and disposing of it in the trash (Note: NEVER pour used cooking oil down the kitchen drain or in the toilet; it’s going to clog pipes).
That’s a waste of oil! Companies buy and collect used cooking oil for repurposing, such as for biodiesel.
Here are some companies that will take your used cooking oil off you:
- Grease Management Solutions
- Food Grease Trappers
- GF Commodities
- Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County
- Used Cooking Oil Buyers
- DAR PRO Solutions
- Clean Energy Biofuels
On the other hand, if you have unused cooking oil that is past its best before date, you can actually still make something of it: soap.
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Here’s a step-by-step instructional guide on how to use rancid oil for soap.
You can make bars of soap and then sell them on Etsy, or use them and save what you’d normally spend on soap for your home. Either way, you get money from recycling cooking oil.
9. Car Batteries
Car batteries contain heavy metals and acids that are harmful to the environment, so it’s really important to prevent them from leaching into the soil or water.
Advance Auto Parts, an automobile parts store with branches all over the country, accepts old batteries and gives you a $10 gift card in exchange.
You can also sell old car batteries to your local scrapyard. Download the iScrap app to find the nearest scrapyard.
10. Junk Cars
If you have an old car lying around that costs too much to repair, there are companies you can contact to take your junk car so they can salvage parts and scrap metal off it. That way, instead of it just rusting in your garage or garden, you can get paid to recycle it.
Below are a few companies that will pay you for your junk car:
11. Random Trash
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
And this is nowhere more apparent than in eBay.
Here are some random knickknacks that you would normally throw away but can fetch you a few dollars on eBay:
- paper towel/toilet paper rolls
- wine corks
- egg cartons
- Box Tops For Education (make sure they’re not expired or expiring soon)
- high-value mailed coupons (especially for expensive items like furniture and appliances)
- broken crayons
- plastic bottle tops
- beer bottle caps
- empty candle jars
- old catalogs
- old magazines
- empty perfume bottles
- installation CDs
- empty MAC cosmetics containers
- board games with missing pieces
A downside of doing this is that you might have to be hoard some of these items in your home for a while since buyers prefer to get these in bulk. But if you have a high turnover of these items, you shouldn’t have to hoard for long.
12. Hard-To-Recycle Waste
No matter how much you recycle, there will always be something left over. Recycling programs such as Terracycle and Recyclebank encourage you to enroll in various recycling programs or do so-called “green actions” in exchange for points.
These points can, in turn, be exchanged for rewards, such as discounts in their partner businesses, or items in their online store made of materials that they recycle. You can also donate them to their educational programs so they can teach children how to recycle.
They’re not exactly recycle-for-cash programs, but you still get something in return for helping the planet.
Get Paid To Recycle Today!
Recycling reduces waste and is good for the environment.
Now that you know these everyday things to recycle for cash, start saving the planet and some money for yourself today!
Have you ever managed to make money from recycling before? Do you have any other recommendations for recycling for cash? Share them with us in the comments!