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Make Money Recycling: Tips and Strategies for Cash from Your Trash

Recycling has long been recognized as an effective way to preserve our planet’s natural resources while reducing waste. While environmental conservation is the primary aim of recycling, it has also become a secondary source of income for many people around the world. With the rise of recycling facilities and the increased awareness of the value of recyclable materials, it has become easier than ever to turn your trash into cash. From scrap metal to used electronics, there are several ways to make money through recycling. Not only does recycling help generate income, but it also reduces the pollution caused by the disposal of waste and the extraction of new materials. In this article, we will explore various ways to make money through recycling and provide insights into the advantages of adopting this profitable and eco-friendly practice.

Recycling common materials for cash

Recycling common materials is an excellent way to make some extra cash. These items can be found almost anywhere, and many of them don’t require much effort to recycle. Here are some tips to help you recycle common materials for cash:

  • Aluminum cans – many scrap yards offer around 40-50 cents per pound of aluminum cans
  • Plastic bottles – check with your local recycling center to see if they pay for plastic bottles by the pound
  • Cardboard – cardboard usually pays out anywhere from zero to 15 cents per pound
  • Newspaper – most recycling centers pay around 1-2 cents per pound of newspaper

There are websites like iScrap App or RecycleNation which let you look for nearby recycling centers and provide accurate payout information. It’s essential to locate businesses close to you for ease of drop-off and faster payouts. By recycling common materials, you can earn some extra income while reducing waste and keeping our planet healthy. So, start by collecting what you can and then drop it off at your local recycler to make some extra cash.

How can I make money from recycling?

There are a few ways that you can make money from recycling, including:

  • Redeeming bottles and cans: Some states offer cash refunds for returning bottles and cans to the store, which can add up over time.
  • Selling scrap metal: If you have any scrap metal lying around, you can sell it to a scrap yard for cash.
  • Offering to recycle for others: Some people may not have the time or resources to recycle properly, so offering to do it for them could earn you some extra money.
  • Selling recycled items: If you enjoy crafting, you could make items from recycled materials and sell them online through platforms such as Etsy.

Overall, while recycling won’t make you rich, it can help you earn a little extra money on the side while also helping the environment.

Recycling electronics for cash

Did you know electronic waste contributes to nearly 70% of toxic waste in landfills? Recycling electronics not only reduces toxic waste but also helps individuals to earn cash. Here are some ways to make money recycling electronics:

  • Trade-in programs – Many online retailers like Best Buy, Apple, and Amazon offer trade-in incentives for used electronics.
  • Local electronic recycling centers – consider checking with the Electronic Recycling Association that has locations across the United States and Canada.
  • Online marketplaces – Online websites such as Decluttr let you sell old phones, laptops, and other electronics for cash.

If you’re recycling a lot of electronics, finding the best price is essential for maximizing profitability. You can use websites like or ecoATM to compare quote offers. Remember, making sure the company is trustworthy and uses responsible recycling practices is as important as getting the most money for your used gadgets.

Electronics trade-in programs payout comparison table

Company Electronic Gadgets Accepted Payment Options Payout Comparison
Best Buy Trade-in Program Cellphones, Laptops, Tablets, Gaming, Smart Home Devices Best Buy Gift Card or PayPal Offers competitive prices for most electronics and requires few restrictions
Apple Trade-in Apple products Apple Gift Card or PayPal Provides gift cards for an Apple store or payment through PayPal. Often offers high payouts for Apple gadgets
Amazon Trade-in Most electronic products Amazon Gift Card or Amazon Account Credit Offers competitive pricing and easy delivery to your Amazon account or gift card

By recycling electronics, you’ll not only contribute to saving the environment, but you can also earn some extra cash along the way.

How recyclable is electronics?

Electronics are generally recyclable but the degree of recyclability can vary depending on the specific products. Here are some important facts to keep in mind:

  • Most electronics contain valuable metals such as copper, gold, and silver which can be recovered through recycling.
  • Batteries, especially rechargeable ones, can be recycled to recover metals such as nickel, cadmium, and lead.
  • Plastics and other materials used in electronics can also be recycled.
  • Not all electronics are designed with recyclability in mind, so it’s important to check with local recycling facilities to ensure they can process certain items.

If you are looking to recycle electronics, some companies and websites such as Best Buy, Gazelle and GreenCitizen provide options for responsible disposal and recycling.

Scrap metal recycling for money

  • Identifying scrap metal – Know the different types of scrap metals and which ones are worth the most money. Copper, aluminum, brass, and stainless steel are among the most valuable. Recognize the weight, color, and texture of different types of metals to ensure you are getting the most value for them.
  • Collecting scrap metal – Find scrap metal in places such as construction sites or old buildings. Additionally, check local classified advertisements or online platforms and even post on social media for anyone willing to give away unused equipment or materials.
  • Selling scrap metal – Take the collected scrap metal to a local recycling yard to get cash in hand. Do some research and compare prices from different recycling yards to get the best payout.

It is essential to keep in mind that safety should be a top priority when working with scrap metal. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, and long-sleeved shirts while handling scrap metal.

Top Scrap Metal Recycling Companies

If you want to ensure your scrap metal is being recycled responsibly while getting the best possible payout, consider working with these reputable scrap metal recycling companies:

Company Locations Materials accepted Payment options
SA Recycling California, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia Ferrous and non-ferrous metals, vehicles, appliances Cash or check
Sims Metal Management United States, Europe, and Asia Scrap metal, electronics, and end-of-life vehicles Cash or check
OmniSource Corporation Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois Ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals Cash or check

Recycling scrap metal is not only an excellent way to earn money, but it also helps the environment by reducing waste and conserving natural resources. You can check out scrap metal prices and auctions to stay up to date on the latest scrap metal prices.

What can be done with scrap metal?

Scrap metal is a valuable resource that can be repurposed in a number of ways, including:

  • Recycling it to create new metal products
  • Selling it to metal scrap yards and recyclers
  • Using it in DIY projects and artwork
  • Donating it to organizations that accept scrap metal donations

To learn more about recycling scrap metal or to find scrap metal recycling centers near you, visit websites such as, or iScrap App.


Recycling is an important environmental practice that not only conserves natural resources and reduces waste but also presents a great opportunity to make money. From recycling common materials like aluminum cans or plastic bottles to selling used electronics, and finally, scrap metal as a profitable practice, there are so many ways to make some extra cash by recycling. In this article, we have discussed various recycling initiatives that will allow us to enjoy the environmental benefits of recycling while earning a decent income.

Switching to eco-friendly methods of living and making a little cash from it has become a popular trend today. There are so many ways to earn revenue that a small lifestyle change can make a considerable impact on our finances while doing our part to protect the environment. With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, recycling can also become a potential revenue source for you.

Therefore, it is essential to take action and start recycling today. Together, we can make a positive impact on the environment while earning an income in the process. So, start recycling, and make some money while protecting the planet.