How to Make Easy Money by Recycling

Recycle your bottles for some extra cash.
Recycle your bottles for some extra cash. (Image: Jim Franco/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Recycling is not only an excellent way to make some easy money, but it is also very beneficial to the environment. Many recycling centers will pay you for your cans, bottles and paper. You can also make money recycling old cell phones, computer parts or scrap metal. All you need is a garage, attic or storage shed to keep your collected items until you are ready to sell them.

Collect the items you want to recycle for cash. You don't have to stop at your own items; you can contact friends, family members and neighbors to find out if they have any items they want to get rid of. The more items you collect, the more money you will make.

Use a recycling center locator such as Earth911 (see Resources) to find a center near you that will pay for your cans, bottles, paper and scrap metal. Click on the link for the nearest center to find out the hours of operation.

Type the electronics you want to recycle in to the search box on the Gazelle website (see Resources), Buy My Tronics website (see Resources) or the You Renew website (see Resources). Each company will make you an offer for each electronic item you want to recycle. They will then send you a postage-paid box to ship them the items. Once they receive the items, they will issue you a check.

Sell all of the cell phones you collected to Cell for Cash (see Resources), Buy My Tronics (see Resources) or You Renew (see Resources). These companies will fix your phones and make them available to new customers. This keeps the phones out of landfills. Just choose your phone from the list on the homepage (prices are under the phone), print the free shipping label or check the box to request a shipping box, send in your phone and receive a check.

Call Cartridges for Cash at 1-866-417-6872 to set up an account. Once you have a box of ink or toner cartridges to send them, they will send you a prepaid shipping box that you can place the cartridges in. Mail it back and Cash for Cartridges will add up the amount for each cartridge and mail you a check. Most cartridges are worth $1 to $4 each.

You can also sell your printer cartridges to Empties 4 Cash (see Resources) or to

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make cash recycling old laptops, even ones that are not working, by selling them on eBay.

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