11 Ways To Turn Your Trash Into Cash

trash cans

Gone are the days when trash had no immediate personal benefit. Yes, you can now turn trash to cash with that old and unwanted stuff in your house on apps like Letgo. Trash day could be payday!

You can do this as a hobby, a side hustle or turn it into a full-fledged green business.

Here are 11 ways to turn trash to cash:

1. Empty Bottles (Perfume, Wine, And Pill Bottles)

When you toss empty glass bottles, it is like tossing money. Wine bottles, for instance, are hot materials for at-home winemakers and DIY projects. 

Ascertain whether your state has a bottle bill to get cashback for every bottle. If not, you can get a few bucks per bottle on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. 

Also, don’t forget the wine corks and beer bottle caps. They are increasingly becoming popular with crafters. If you are a wine or beer person, you could enjoy a big payday by collecting corks or caps over time, washing them and listing them.

2. Games And Disks

You may decide to keep some of those old games and disks “just in case.” In reality, you’re probably not going to use any of them in the future.

You can earn a bundle of money, selling old games and disks; this is one of the most popular forms of recycling. They’ll sell fast because they save gamers hundreds of dollars versus buying them new.

While recycling games and disks won’t make you an overnight millionaire, you’ll boost your household income, be your own boss and save a lot of landfill space. 

3. Electronics

Just upgraded your music system? Great, I hope you enjoy the latest model, but what are you going to do with your old one? 

Electronics have toxic chemicals that can leach out into soils and water supplies. While you could donate your old or broken electronics, you might want to make yourself some extra money from your couch instead.

E-waste you can sell include old and broken cell phones, iPads, MacBooks/PCs, TV sets and gaming consoles. If it’s in working condition, another person might be able to get many more years out of it.

Check with your wireless phone provider or contact your local recycling plant and ask whether they’ll pay you for used electronics. Some will even visit your house to collect them.

Don’t forget to ask your friends or family for electronics they don’t use. You can exchange them for a store gift card or PayPal payment at participating Best Buy and Target stores.

4. Scrap Metal

Both ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals can be recycled for money. And it’s not just big-ticket items like a beater car or boat; you can make money recycling old household trash for cash.

Try metal furniture, appliances, desktop towers, door locks, bikes, old metal wires, BBQ grills, file cabinets and tin cans.

If you have a lot of metal sitting idle in your garage, check whether your local scrapyard will be willing to fetch it.

Besides saving the environment by decreasing the pressure on metal mining, recycling non-ferrous metals like gold, silver, or copper will fetch you good money.

5. Get Cash For Trash Cars

Getting cash for trash cars is another way to add a little green to both your wallet and the environment. If your car is longer roadworthy, consider selling it for scrap at a licensed scrapyard.

Depending on your commitment, you can make quite a lot of money! Use this money to pay your bills or build a savings account.

6. Aluminum Cans

Please don’t throw away used beverage containers (soda and beer cans); they’re worth money!

Americans receive millions of dollars every year from recycling aluminum. Reason? Aluminum is one of the easiest and most valuable common materials to recycle.

Take them to the nearest recycling center or local grocery store. If you live in a state with a high recycling payout rate, you could earn up to 10 cents per can. 

7. Cardboard Boxes

More than half of the recyclables collected in the United States are paper products, including cardboard boxes.

Americans love online retail. Those online order boxes from apps like wish can pile up fast. Rather than trashing your gently used cardboard boxes, you can swap them for cash. 

Create a free listing on BoxCycle to sell with no upfront costs! You can make even more money if you collect moving and shipping boxes from friends and neighbors too. 

Just ensure they are in great condition as no one will want to buy stained or damaged boxes. 

8. Junk Mail

Another used paper product you can use to turn trash to cash is junk mail.

You may not have any use for junk mail, but they’re worth money to market researchers interested in direct mail advertising.

The average American receives up to 30 pounds of junk mail (unwanted magazines, newsletters and other promotional materials) in a year.

The SBK Center will pay you to forward them your offers and junk mail for products and services like insurance, credit cards, clothing, and telecommunications.

All you have to do is send qualified mail-in postage-paid envelopes you’ll be given. According to the SBK Center, “Frequent participants can earn as much as $20 in points every 6 to 10 weeks! Business owners and those who are self-employed can earn rewards even faster.”

9. Reclaimed Wood

Next time you’re planning to remodel your house or declutter during spring cleaning, know that reclaimed wood can be another source of extra income.

Many people and companies are willing to pay money for reclaimed wood in several forms. Notable mentions include maple, elm, ash, white oak, walnut, and hickory wood.

Since reclaimed wood can be bulky, let the buyer handle the moving. So long as they land a great deal, many folks won’t mind renting a U-Haul.

10. Ink Cartridges

Throwing out these non-biodegradable items with the trash is harmful to the environment. 

Clear them out of your home office by selling them to Best Buy, Staples, or Office Depot. You can earn $2 in store credit for each qualifying cartridge.

While at the store, use the Field Agent app to complete tasks and earn money.

11. Car Batteries

If you’re a car owner, you probably have an old car battery you’ll never use again. Why not turn the trash to cash?

Just like electronics, old car batteries have harmful chemicals. Many auto parts stores will let you trade-in your old battery for a small discount on a new one.

Not sure where to sell them? Just do an online search to see what you can find in your neighborhood. Some people will give you a cash offer on the spot.

About Cara: Cara Palmer paid off over $20K of debt and then started investing in rental properties. Cara writes about getting out of debt, making money, working from home and Smart Money Tips over at Carapalmer.com You can also find her on Pinterest.

Ways To Turn Trash Into Cash

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