Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Get Paid to Recycle

Going green is very trendy these days. Sometimes saving the planet is associated with adding expenses to our already existing habits and purchases, but that's not always true. You can make money recycling.

Here's how to get paid to recycle:

  • Recyclebank This innovative company offers points for your regular household recycling! It's only available in some communities around the country but it's rapidly expanding. Each time your recycling gets picked up, it's weighed and the weight gets converted into points that are credited to your account. You can use your points to get discounts on products your use every day. Check for more information [source: Heussner].
  • Recycle used electronics Companies like YouRenew, BuyMyTronics and Gazelle allow you to send them your old electronics for cash, gift cards or charity. Each accepts a wide range of old gizmos from TVs and stereos to computers and cell phones. Visit their websites for more information [source: Heussner].
  • Redeem old printer cartridges for cash Cash4Cartridges and TonerBuyer, among others, will pay you for your empty ink and toner cartridges [source: Campos].
  • Scrap aluminum cans Many states have a deposit value on cans turned in for recycling. Alternatively, metal scrap yards will pay about $0.70 per pound of recycled aluminum. That's about two cents for every can [source: Barrett].
  • Glass and plastic bottles Like aluminum cans, many states have a deposit value on bottles. Although harder to find than metal scrappers, there are glass and plastic scrap yards that will pay by the pound for recyclable materials. Search the internet or the yellow pages to find yards and rates in your area [source: RecycleINme].
  • Donate cars to charities There are many programs across the country that will issue a tax deduction for donating your old car to charity. Often, the cars don't even need to be in running condition. Charitable organizations offering this recycling incentive include Volunteers of America and Kars 4 Kids [source: Campos].