Cash for Trash? Earning Money for Recycling

Posted 04-19-2010 at 08:36 AM by DiaperShops Sarah

We all know that recycling is the right thing to do for the environment, but sometimes life gets in the way. We don’t always see the direct result of our efforts and it’s easy to forget how important recycling is.  I’ve found that getting some cash back for recycling is a great incentive.  Here are a few strategies I’ve found for turning trash into cash. 

  • Redeem bottles and cans. Many communities have recycling centers that will buy plastic bottles and aluminum cans for up to a nickel per item.  At our house, we crush soft drink cans and save them until we’ve filled a large trash container, then redeem them for enough cash for a family night at the movies.
  • Cash for discards. Yard sales are a great way to make some cash and recycle your discarded household items and clothing, but have you ever felt disappointed when a nearly new item sells for pennies on the dollar at a yard sale?  Consignment stores are another alternative for reselling furniture, jewelry and clothing.  The store will keep a portion of the price of the item, but you will still net considerably more than you might at a yard sale.
  • Recycle cell phones. Disposing of old cell phones is a problem since they contain toxic substances and shouldn’t be put in the trash.  The Cells for Cash website will accept your cell phone for recycling and if it’s a newer model, they may even pay you for it.  The company will send you a mailer and postage is free.  Best of all, your phone will be refurbished and sent to a developing country.

Recycle Electronics. Gazelle is a website that is similar to Cells for Cash, allowing you to recycle and possibly be paid for your discarded electronic gadgets, including gaming consoles, laptops, desktop computers, monitors, MP3 players, digital cameras, camcorders, GPS devices and more.  Like Cells for Cash, you can determine on the website the resale value of your gadget value and receive a postage-paid carton for shipping.  Gazelle will remove all personal data (though you may decide to do this yourself before shipping it), refurbish your gadget and then resell it.  Part of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

About the Author: Sarah is a Communications Manager for, one of the largest cloth diapering boutiques online. She writes for about how families can become more green.

Filed Under: Savings Talk


5 Responses to “Cash for Trash? Earning Money for Recycling”

  1. whitneywalters on April 19th, 2010 4:46 pm

    Great post!!

  2. larsencass on April 21st, 2010 3:48 pm

    Just an FYI. Best Buy will take most electronics and recycle them too. They won’t pay you for them but you can recycle them for free.

    I just dropped off 2 printers, 2 cell phones, a computer tower and all the cables. It was great to get them out of the house!

  3. momk2009 on April 22nd, 2010 11:42 pm

    I just checked out Gazelle, so great. I am glad to hear Best Buy will take items also, I never know what to do with mine.

  4. DreamingTree on April 24th, 2010 2:39 am

    I’m a big read of these types of blogs, and was happy to see you actually have some newer content I haven’t seen before. Thanks.

  5. Noymira on May 1st, 2010 12:03 am

    Thank you, good information, especially with spring cleaning on the mind.

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