One of the easiest ways to make an extra buck and enjoy a hobby that gives you plenty of exercise outdoors is collecting and selling scrap plastic. In addition, the recycling of plastic is a great way to serve your environment and make a "green" statement. Another wonderful thing about this hobby is that It does not take any start-up money and you can begin right away.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Set up a storage place for the scrap plastic you will be collecting. If possible, store the materials out of doors; if not, designate as large an area as possible in your residence.
Determine the range of the area in which you will look for plastics. Most people start in their own neighbourhood and then branch out to other ones in their vicinity. Always check the night prior to trash pickup or early that morning. Also, call to find out the day bulk items are collected for the neighbourhood you are salvaging.
Expand your searching area to include places mostly likely to have large amounts of plastic scrap. Call ahead to "junk" yards and private businesses to obtain permission to look for and remove scrap from the premises. Many companies recycle or sell their plastic scraps on their own or do not want individuals on the property due to liability issues. Small businesses are more likely to accommodate you.
Advertise that you are on the lookout for plastic scrap. You do not need to spend money for this as you can simply alert your neighbours by word of mouth. Also, there are often online "freecycle" lists you can subscribe to for your area (see Resources below).
Check with friends and family members who work in industries in which scrap plastic is produced. If possible, arrange to periodically collect from their places of employment.
Sort your plastics by types such as bottles, PVC, nylon and miscellaneous. Some buyers only buy particular scrap items, so it saves time to sort immediately after a collection trip.
Call all buyers in your vicinity to find those who pay the most for your scrap. Keep a log of buyers detailing what types of scrap plastic they buy and at what rate. Check pricing often as it frequently changes.
Sell your scrap plastic by the pound. Though buyers will weigh it for you, it is a good idea to know approximately how much you are bringing in at a time.
Tips and warnings
- Document your collection and selling efforts. It is very rewarding to look back over how much you have collected and sold after you have been at this hobby for some time.
- Never invade personal property without permission as you will be in violation of "no trespassing" laws.
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