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Recycling: Common Items That Can Earn You Money

October 11, 2018
by dmirza

We already recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, old newspapers, and many other materials. But there are many other things that are recyclable, and they can even help line your pockets. Things like wine corks, gift cards, hair (you read that right), cooking oil, and even some common trash can help you and the environment.

Wine corks are often popped and then forgotten. If you collect these bottle stoppers, they can actually be sold on eBay for about five cents per cork, often in bulk of about 100 corks at a time. They are popular in the arts and crafts communities. Another option is to send them to Yemm & Hart Green Materials. This leading recycler of cork will pay you for a minimum 10 pounds of cork at a time. They can only take pure cork, as in no plastic or synthetic corks can be accepted. The amount of money they pay out is based on the current market value of the cork.

We get gift cards for our birthdays, graduation gifts, and as holiday presents. Some companies will actually keep the card when you use the last bit of money on it because they can recycle and reuse them. If you keep your old gift cards, you can gather them together and send them to Gift Card Rescue. The company recycles the plastic in the card and sends you a check for all the cards you send them. Granted, it will be much less than the original value of the card, but it’s like getting a bonus credit for all the cards you receive.

Used cooking oil takes up space in our pantries. Many groups will actually help you get rid of that oil and pay you for it at the same time. There are recycling centers dedicated to taking the oil, biodiesel firms use it for fuel, and some individuals will purchase it through independent websites like Craigslist. Winter time is the best time to sell it as many people can use it to heat their homes. The value of the used oil varies from 33 to 66 cents per gallon, and selling it used is tax free.

Human hair is a very prosperous recycling opportunity. Wig and hair extension manufacturers may pay anywhere from $200 to $1500 for natural, unbleached hair, depending on its shade, length, and condition. There are many websites that will purchase hair from you. There are even buyers on Craigslist and eBay, but it’s important to research the buyer to ensure they are reputable.

Common trash is recyclable for cash, too. TerraCycle will donate money for each article of trash you send them. They are great for fundraisers for schools and charities, and benefit most from places with a high trash output, like large businesses and schools.

Recycling is important for the environment as it cuts down on material waste and energy consumption. The aforementioned recyclable items provide an added incentive to recycle, and will benefit others down the road. Start converting your useless articles into something more profitable!


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