Turning Recyclables into Cash

 Photo Credit: NYC♥NYC via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: NYC♥NYC via Compfight cc

One of the memories I have of my grandmother is of walking to the neighborhood market. We would carry back whatever bottles we had and then get cash for it at the counter! She taught us that recycling can be good for the earth and for our wallets. Of course we didn’t get much as we only had a few bottles at a time. It’s something to consider doing though especially if you happen to buy a lot of drinks in bottles. Most people have access to a curbside recycling that is much simpler to use. Others just separate out the ones that they can get cash for. Then there are people who hunt for bottles to recycle!

I’ve tried it myself with varying results. We don’t buy a lot of drinks in bottles as we mostly just drink water from a Brita pitcher. We’re unusual in that way and I know that most families probably go through a ton of different recyclable containers. Usually I just toss them into the recycling bin. Lately though I’ve been trying to collect what little we use to try to get some cash for it! I happen to live in one of the states where they charge you money when you buy the drink! Every plastic bottle comes with an additional charge of 5 cents and I think glass ones might be 10 cents! If I’m really trying to be frugal I should definitely be trying to get some of my money back!

Last weekend I had one bag full of bottles and thought that I could stop by a recycling booth and try it out! There are small booths that are sprinkled across the city where you can take bottles and get cash. Let’s say I had no idea how insane it would be! We arrived to line up behind 3 other groups. A family of three had taken over both machines and were feeding a truckload of bottles in! When I say a truckload I do seriously mean a full truck! I have no idea how long they had been there before we arrived, but after 10 minutes they moved to one machine. Unfortunately the people in front of us had tons of bottles too! After waiting 20 minutes and realizing it would probably take 30 more minutes until we got to the machine with our one bag of bottles, we have our bag to the person behind us and left. Better luck next time perhaps! It wasn’t worth our time for one bag to wait almost an hour.

Money lying in the trash
What I realize now is that for me I was just doing it to get some money back. For others it can actually be a source of income! I’m so fortunate that I have enough to live on and more. These could be people barely making ends meet or who have been out of work for months. Now I am glad that California can give you money back to recycle. I’ve seen people literally poking around in the trash cans and dumpsters looking for bottles. Tossing bottles into the trash is like throwing away money!

Motivation to recycle
Money is definitely one of the best ways to motivate people to recycle! It’s a total win win situation to make money from recycling and to save the earth. A lot of people doing this might not be motivated because they want to be green, but only for the money. Ether way it gets recyclables out of the landfill.


Have you ever gotten money back from recycling?


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