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Recycling programmes are on the rise as more and more people join the effort to go green. Glass, though not as valuable as aluminium, is easy to recycle and can often earn you some extra cash in the process. If you're saving up those glass bottles in hopes of making a small amount of money on the side, the news is both good and bad. It all depends on where you live.
Save only your soft drinks (soda), wine, beer and beverage bottles. Items such as light bulbs and old dishes cannot be recycled.
Separate the bottles by colour: green, clear and amber/brown glass.
Remove and discard lids and caps. Labels can be left intact.
Rinsing the bottles is recommended but not required.
Determine if your state has a bottle bill on the books. A bottle bill is a law where deposits are required on all eligible beverage containers sold in that state (most are 5 cents per container). The idea is that cans and bottles can be returned to the retailer for a refund of the deposit. As of March 2009, the bottle bill states were: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont.
Check bottle labels. Beverages sold in bottle bill states will be labelled as such. "CRV," for example, stands for California Redemption Value. Bottles must be redeemed in the state where they were purchased.
Find your nearest recycling location online. Retailers are required by law to take back empty beverage containers. Some supermarkets have their own recycling or buyback centres; others let you redeem at the cash register or through a vending machine that dispenses cash or prints a receipt to exchange for cash.
Visit recycling centres midweek to avoid lines.
Visit recyclingcenters.org to find an independent recycling centre in your area, even if you don't live in a bottle bill state.
Call before you go. Many centres pay for glass bottles by the pound, though the pay is low, and some do not pay at all.
Make fewer trips to the recycling centre by saving up your bottles over a longer period of time. Otherwise you may spend as much in gas as you make returning the bottles.
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