How to get paid to recycle plastic bottles

Updated July 19, 2017

Recycling plastic bottles is a simple process that can be used to make money. There are even 11 states in the U.S. that have passed legislation requiring that a deposit be collected each time any type of beverage container is purchased. This deposit is usually between five and 10 cents and is supposed to act as an incentive for the consumer to recycle the bottle purchased to get the deposit back. Even if your state does not have bottle recycling legislation in place, you can still recycle your bottles for money.

Rinse out the plastic bottle. Empty any remaining substance left in the plastic bottle into your sink. Fill the plastic bottle one-fourth of the way full with water from your faucet. Gently swish the water around inside the bottle to remove any leftover contents. Pour the water out of the bottle into the sink. Recycling centres will not accept or will give you less money for bottles that have not been properly cleaned.

Place the clean, empty bottle into a plastic or metal storage container. This container can be kept in your kitchen next to your dustbin to simplify the recycling process. When the container becomes full, move the contents into a 20-gallon trash bag that can be stored in a shed or garage. Smaller or larger trash bags can be purchased depending on your requirements.

Locate your nearest recycling centre. Recycling centres are often located near or behind chain grocery stores. Many grocery stores also have vending machines where bottles can also be recycled for money. You could also look up recycling centres in your local phone book or on the Internet if you are unable to locate a recycling centre to take your bottles.

Take the bottles to the local recycling centre during appropriate business hours and recycle your bottles. The attendant on duty will weigh your recycled bottles and will pay you based on the amount of bottles that you brought in. Be sure to save the trash bags that you brought your bottles to the centre in. You can reuse them multiple times for recycling your bottles.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic or metal storage bin
  • 20-gallon trash bags
  • Faucet with running water
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About the Author

Laura Ross has been writing since 2003, with her articles now appearing on various websites. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in the biological sciences from Whittier College, a Master of Science in environmental sciences from the University of California-Riverside and is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University of Arizona.