Waste diversion is a noble cause and it’s the SMART thing to do. Not only for the environment, but also for your finances. At CleanRiver recycling solutions, we have been helping commercial businesses and homeowners save money for over 30 years with our recycling programs.  But what if we told you that it’s possible to make money on some of the waste you throw in your outdoor recycling bins? The good news is you can recycle for money! Even commercial recycling bins and commercial trash cans could be filled with valuable materials. Turn trash into cash and bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “green recycling”!

From Green Recycling to Green Cash

Before we reveal what recyclable materials earn the most cash, it’s a good idea to understand that not all materials in the categories below will be recyclable. Certain facilities don’t accept certain things. Essentially, recycling solutions work, but only if you work for them. Most of the time it’s hard to determine what to recycle and what not to recycle so figuring out what can be recycled for money and what goes in the garbage isn’t always clear. Luckily we have plenty of commercial recycling, green recycling, and office recycling blogs to help you. Click on the phrases underlined in green for links to more information on each category in the material descriptions below. Now let’s start using trash for cash!

1. Aluminum Cans

This is the classic example of cash for trash that’s been around for years. Aluminum takes more energy to mine and produce than any other metal so it is worth paying for these cans. Recycling aluminum not only prevents more resources from being extracted from the Earth but it also saves energy as well! When collecting aluminum cans for profit, crushing them saves a lot of space for storing even more cans. A common way to store these cans is in a commercial trash can, or a plastic bag. Then you just have to bring them to your local recycling or scrap metal center to get paid. Depending on your local recycling facility, if you are tossing individual cans into your outdoor recycling bins it’s not advised to crush them as they can get caught in the sorting machine and slow things down.

2. Plastic and Glass Bottles

Cash it! Don’t trash it. Many governments have implemented deposit return recycling programs that attach cash values to bottles based on the material they’re made of. Returning glass and plastic bottles to recycling facilities and stores where they offer bottle return can net you a decent amount of coin.

3. Ink Cartridges

Green recycling solutions for when you can’t print the colour green anymore! Why recycle ink cartridges? A number of office supply stores such as Staples will offer $2 back per cartridge. That means your office recycling program can start saving on printer costs!

4. Cardboard

cardboard commercial recycling Cardboard boxes are a necessity for moving items from place to place. But they’re also very valuable and can get you around $45 per ton. We recognize that this may be more viable for commercial recycling or office recycling rather than at home. Hard to fit a literal ton of cardboard in your outdoor recycling bins! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around for cardboard. Local businesses and people on sites like craigslist might be happy to give their cardboard away for free. Once you’ve collected enough simply stack it and tie it together for easy transportation to a nearby cardboard recycling facility.

5. Electronic Waste

Can electronic waste be recycled? It depends on what you’re recycling and where you’re bringing it to. Collection sites like waste depots and recycling centres, as well as special collection events (like those arranged on Earth Day) and stores involved with e-waste recycling can all recycle electronics for cash. The problem is it’s not always clear if electronic waste is valuable because it contains materials that may or may not be worth money. Valuable materials found in e-waste include the following:
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Plastics
We recommend doing some research before trying to profit off your e-waste. Don’t forget electronic waste also includes batteries. If you’ve recently replaced the battery in your car you could get up to $10 for your used car batteries depending on the location. Some auto part stores have incentives for these particular batteries. Regardless of whether or not you are able to recycle your electronics for cash, it is still important to make sure your e-waste doesn’t end up in a landfill. “E-waste is a very big problem because the amount is growing at a very rapid pace each year, and the level of recycling is just not keeping up pace,” -Kees Baldé Recycle your electronics for cash

6. Scrap Metal

The final and most profitable material on our “best items to recycle for money” list is scrap metal. You may already be aware of this if you’ve ever visited a scrap yard for cars or other types of scrap facilities. Commercial recycling is lucrative in the metal business, so if you’ve got a broken down car lying around you can still get some money for it. Just be aware, recycling solutions for certain metals are not viable. Click here for more information about money for scrap metal recycling and why you should recycle scrap metal. Don’t let your scrap rust! Take a look at how much money scrap yards off for certain metals:
  • Over $2 per pound of copper
  • 40-70 cents per pound of aluminum
  • $1.40 per pound of yellow brass
  • 20-30 cents per pound of die-cast metal
  • Etc.

Recycling Solutions for Your Wallet

After reading our list, you’ve probably noticed that there are many more materials you can recycle for money like paper, cooking oils, clothes, motor oil, etc. Even reselling or repurposing old items like toys and pottery can be considered recycling for money. This particular list was chosen with the idea that these materials are the easiest and most readily-available items to recycle. ______________________________________________________________

Looking for more green recycling tips? Check out these other blogs

bottom banner CleanRiver Recycling provides a variety of innovative, flexible and customizable recycling solutions. Start saving money today with our green recycling programs. If you have additional questions that weren’t answered in this blog post please call us at 1-866-479-4038 or email solutions@cleanriver.com