Recycling for Profit: Different Ways to Bring More Cash Through Trash

August 29, 2022

The recycling business is going strong for a reason: the recycling industry makes for profitable business, and many recycling programs handle municipal solid waste in partnership with local governments. 

At home, you can still make a profit off of recycling items. While it may be difficult to start your own recycling services, you can still enter the recycling industry with a modified recycling program that will hit recycling markets with unique and sustainable products.

Woman holding up wad of cash and smiling

Different Ways to Turn Trash into Cash

You don’t have to be a large corporation, or part of a big environmental movement to do some recycling. Recycling starts at home, and so does business. By being sustainable, you are not only increasing your market value, you are also doing good for the environment

Here are a couple of ways you can turn trash to cash, and reduce waste that ends up in our landfills. Taking materials to recycling facilities certainly helps, but reducing waste also means to repurpose items for other uses, so we can continue our sustainability efforts even at home.

  1. Recycle aluminum bottles, cans, and foil.

While not every recycling company accepts aluminum cans, you can more or less find recycling companies that will accept aluminum bottles and foil, as long as the material is clean and pure. Aluminum is one of the best recyclable materials, and typically has a good recycling program at any material recovery facility.

Aluminum is 100% recyclable, as long as the bottle or foil does not have a plastic liner. Most soda cans will have a plastic liner, so best to segregate these. Pure aluminum cans are just as safe and recyclable as virgin raw materials, and most of the aluminum we use is actually recycled. 

Check with your local recycling company whether they accept aluminum, and in what forms. You may need to clean out the aluminum before dropping them off, but most recycling companies pay a hefty penny for aluminum materials, even more than other recycled commodities like recycled glass or recycled cardboard boxes. 

  1. Turn plastic bottles into eco-thread.

In a recycling company, the process of melting plastic materials like PET plastic bottles and plastic solid waste can be detrimental to our environment with the amount of emissions and chemicals being released into the atmosphere. 

Now, there are ways to recycle plastic that doesn’t have to harm the environment. Collect plastic bottles, and turn them into some eco-thread or eco-rope by whittling them down to a string-like material. There are several ways you can do this, and many of these methods are available as video tutorials online. 

You can then sell these plastic threads to sustainable clothing stores, or to locals as cheap and waterproof alternatives to regular rope. It costs almost nothing, and is fairly easy to do once you get the hang of it. The plastic rope can also be used to secure items, as the material shrinks with the heat of a hairdryer. 

  1. Create recycled paper stationery.

Recovered paper makes some unique stationery sets that you can easily make at home with a blender, silk screen, and some water! Create your own in-house recycling facility for papers, and you can even partner up with paper companies to gather your materials.

Create unique paper sets by blending up torn pieces of paper and water in a blender. Place the mush into a large basin filled with water, and scoop out enough pulp to make a thin layer on your silk screen. Transfer to a flat, lined surface, let it fully dry, and voila! Your first stationery page is done! You can add different colours and glitters too for a little special touch. 

  1. Recycle electronic devices and parts.

Electronics are filling up our landfills as we digitize our lives. The electronic waste stream is not managed properly, and people tend to throw out their devices instead of recycling them. Take part in the movement to repurpose these electronic wastes, and collect e-waste from businesses, schools, and even homes.

You might be surprised at how well electronic wastes can profit. Sell any usable electronic parts to mechanic shops, repair centers, or even the brand itself, as many electronics brands now have a partner recycling company that repurposes e-wastes. 

  1. Repurpose cans and bottles for plant pots.

Turn your trash into a home for the most natural resources in your garden - plants! Plants aren’t picky when it comes to pots. As long as there’s good drainage and resistance to water, plants will readily accept any vessel for their pots. Plants are easy to propagate, too, and they can fetch a good price on the market when you cultivate herbs, indoor plants, and saplings. 

Recycling cardboard egg trays can also be used in gardening. Seedlings can sustainably start off germination in a sterilized egg tray, and transferred to pots with the egg tray acting as fertilizer. Since it is made from paper, the egg tray will simply break down in the soil, processing nutrients for the plant.

  1. Upcycle thrifted clothes.

Upcycling thrifted clothes has boomed in popularity with Pinterest moms and Tumblr artists. Most clothes that end up in thrift stores are actually as good as new, albeit a bit out of style for the time period or the current trends. These clothes serve as your raw materials.

If you’ve got an eye for fashion, why not try your hand at upcycling and restyling thrifted clothes to fit the era? Etsy and ASOS have platforms where clients readily accept tasteful pieces, even as they have been upcycled. You may just find yourself a following of fashionistas looking for the next best and unique statement piece!

  1. Collect recyclables for free.

Most households don’t recycle because making the trip down to the recycling company and processing facilities can be a bit of a chore. Offer your recycling services to take their materials like glass bottles, corrugated cardboard boxes, and aluminum bottles for free. 

You’d be surprised how much recycled glass can get you, as glass weighs more dense than paper or plastic. You can make money from the spare parts in broken cell phones, and even negotiate contracts with repair stores to supply them with spare parts for new technologies. 

Turn solid waste management and recycling glass into a business as you take on the hustle, and bring these materials to the recycling companies for profit. It’s a win-win situation, as the households get rid of their recyclables easily without calling on waste haulers, while you earn from the haul.

Phone with recycling logo on mesh bag

Make Recycling a Habit

Although you can make money from recycling, always do recycling because you want to, not because it’s profitable. Make recycling a habit, and encourage more people to reduce, reuse, and recycle their materials for a cleaner, greener earth.

Companies and businesses alike are turning to a more eco-friendly approach in their products, and My Own Water is proud to be one of the responsible companies that is tackling the environmental problem with our 100% recyclable aluminum water bottles. 

We believe sustainability is at the heart of our operations, and at the same time, we are giving our clients the opportunity to go green as well. Check out our website for a full list of our products, and check out our aluminum water bottles for more recycling information.

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