How to make money recycling

Updated February 21, 2017

Recycling is rapidly becoming a profitable business, allowing you to make money at in addition to keeping the planet clean. Indeed, there are a number of different ways to make money from recycling, depending on how much time and energy you wish to spend on it.

Set aside space in a garage or extra room to hold recyclable materials. Any operation involving recyclables requires storage space where you can keep them until you are ready to sell.

Take your recyclable materials to a centre which pays for them. The easiest way to make money recycling is simply to find a local centre which will pay for your newspapers, bottles and cans, and bring them in when they fill up your space. You can easily expand your recyclable booty by asking neighbors to give you their old recyclables, or drawing up advertisements in the neighborhood and arranging to pick up recyclables from a number of different houses.

Look for old or reused computers that people are upgrading to newer models. The circuit boards, screens, and other elements can be removed and resold. A number of online groups buy used computers and refurbish them for sale elsewhere. In addition, some recycling agencies accept used ink cartridges from printers. Check with local businesses to see if they are upgrading their systems.

Collect used mobile phones for resale. The phone companies want people buying newer and more advanced phones, even though the older ones work just fine. People may be happy to get rid of their older phones, which you can then resell on eBay.

Sell used books, CDs, furniture clothes or other cast-offs at a local flea market or junk shop. Many people cast off old materials that can easily be used by someone else. Find an outlet in your area which pays for used goods or will allow you to sell them yourself.


Recycled materials need to stay separated from one another. Make sure you don't mix different types of glass or plastic, and that you rinse out recyclable containers so that they don't have any food or other residue. Donations of old goods may be tax deductible, saving your money even if they don't make a direct profit. Check with your accountant or the HMRC in your area to see if any of your recycling donations are deductible.

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