How to recycle plastic bottles for cash

Updated March 20, 2018

Plastic bottles are constantly being used and discarded. Bottles that are thrown away take up massive space in landfills and the decomposition rate of plastic is still unknown. So we don't know how long these bottles will stay there. They are a danger to animals and release harmful gases as they degrade. These facts all make a strong case for recycling the next water bottle you empty.

Contact your county recycling centre. This is often a division of public works or waste disposal. Ask where a local recycling centre is.

Gather your plastic bottles in a bag, bin or dustbin. Make sure they are empty, and preferably, rinsed clean.

Go to the recycling centre closest to you with the plastic bottles.

Ask the attendant how to redeem the plastic bottles. Some centres only weigh the bottles while others have a conveyor belt that separates items and gives them the actual redemption value printed on the bottle.

Place the bottles in the weigh station bins or insert them onto the conveyor belt reader.

Obtain a redemption voucher and claim your money. You may need to go to a second location such as a supermarket to claim the money.


You can also recycle glass bottles and aluminium cans at these locations. Generally weighing the bottles is quicker but doesn't give as much in redemption value. Use your recycle bin. Many communities have a special "blue or yellow" recycle bin used to pick up plastics on collection day. Instead of tossing the bottles in your dustbin, separate them and fill the recycle bin. There is no additional cost for you to use this service, it is already paid in the council tax.

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About the Author

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.