Free Money From Your Garbage

top view recyclable cans and bottles

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How We Cash In On Our Garbage

It’s a little extra work, but we don’t let our aluminum cans, glass bottles, or plastic bottles go to the city recycling facility.  Instead, we save these for months and cash in at our local recycler.  As a reward for our work, we like to splurge by going out to eat with the earnings.  This week, we cleared over $40 from a single load.

From just 6 barrels, we collected over 150 lbs of sellable material


Here is our sales receipt showing over $40 from one load of recyclables


How To Collect Recyclables easily

  1. The first thing to do is to establish a place to collect your daily glass, bottles, and cans.  We use a single container due to room but a better approach is one container per type.  The reason is that recyclers require you to separate your materials so that it can be weighed properly.
  2. Next – if using one container, sort as you empty into plastic bags.  The reason is that sorting at the facility can be time consuming if you’ve been collecting for months.  Getting everything ready ahead of time means you are just minutes at the facility instead of an hour.
  3. Find a suitable location to store your sorted material and make a run to sell when you have a full load.  Bigger loads means  less time to transport and sell.

Get the Kid’s Involved

By teaching your kids how to recycle for cash, they learn valuable life lessons such as environmental responsibility, patience, and planning.  This isn’t quick money.  It takes a while before you see anything at all.  Kid’s learn quickly that slow and steady works, plus it teaches them the value of money.  Not only that, but you won’t have to do all the work yourself due to little helpers.

What Profits The Most

As far as home products go like cans and bottles, aluminum is the most profitable.  Here locally, we sell aluminum at $1.80 per pound.  That adds up pretty quickly.  In our case, the aluminum was over half the total bill of sale.

Now don’t forget that you can sell even higher value metals.  If you have any leftover copper wire, then that would be an ideal thing to sell.  Copper fetches a lot higher price than aluminum so don’t toss out those extra wires.


We all need to participate in preserving our natural resources and reducing waste.  If you have a little extra time, you can cash in on your recycling program by doing this yourself.  

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