15 Every Day Items You Can Recycle for Cash


Your principal incentive to recycle? That one’s a no-brainer: the environment, of course. But, it doesn’t just have to be a green act of good will; it can add a little extra cash to your wallet as well. Recycling for money sure won’t make you a millionaire, but these days every penny counts. So, cash in on your good conscience with these items.

Aluminum Cans
I’m a soda addict, and I can go through a 12-pack faster than a roll of toilet paper. Even if you only drink a couple throughout the week, add your significant other or roommates into the equation, and the cans can pile up pretty quickly. Instead of tossing them in your recycling bin, bag up your plethora of cans and bring them to your local recycling center for some extra cash. You can also take them to a reverse vending machine, as long as they’re not crushed.

Plastic Bottles


The same goes for plastic bottles. Keep in mind that the majority of recycling centers pay by the pound, so save gas by accumulating as many as possible before taking a trip.

Glass Bottles

glass bottles

In addition to aluminum cans and plastic bottles, you can also bring glass bottles to a nearby recycling center or reverse vending machine to get money back.

Printer Cartridges

printer cartridges

Hang on to your empty printer cartridges and send them in to be recycled by eCycle Group or similar programs. While you’re at it, get your office in on the action, too. You can also bring them to a nearby Staples, but you’ll receive store credit instead of cash.

PCs and Laptops


Computers become obsolete quickly, and that means more outdated electronics in the landfill. But, it doesn’t have to be. Send in your old laptop or personal computer to Gazelle or search online for similar sites to get money back.

Cell Phones


My puppy recently mistook my cell phone for a chew toy. When I told a friend, she told me that I could send it in to Buy My Tronics for cash – even if it’s mangled beyond recognition.

iPods or MP3 Players


So, you upgraded to the iPod Touch, and you’re wondering what to do with your old MP3 player. That’s an easy one; there are a number of web sites that pay you to send it in, including You Renew.

Car Batteries


If your car battery goes dead, call the company you bought it from to determine their policy. Since dead batteries can be reused to manufacture new ones, many companies will pay you to bring your it back.

Digital Cameras

sigma camera

Get cash for your old digital camera by sending it to Gazelle or other similar programs.

Game Consoles

xbox controller

Have you outgrown your game console? Even if it’s broken, you can still send it in to Buy My Tronics or similar sites for cash.



Sure, that heavy graphing calculator got you through accounting classes in college, but it hasn’t seen the light of day since. Get money back by sending it in to You Renew or similar programs.

CDs and DVDs


Trade them in at a local music store or send them in to sites like Second Spin to receive cash in return.



Sell your old textbooks and novels to Cash 4 Books or similar programs.

Feeling really resourceful? You can also recycle…

Salvage copper from singed electric cords, leaky pipes and other sources, and bring it to a scrap metal center for cash. Chances are, what you manage to recover is worth more than a bag full of cans and bottles.

Like copper, brass is worth more than your typical recyclables. So, turn rusty old hinges, door knobs, plumbing fittings and more into cash at your local scrap metal center.

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12 thoughts on “15 Every Day Items You Can Recycle for Cash

  1. Wow very useful article, never realised some much different stuff could be recycled for money. Will definitely be looking into where calculators can be recycled as have loads knocking about, doubt I will get much for them though.

  2. good piece..but the problem i am having is getting who would buy these items when i get them i live in nigeria west africa please can anyone help i am also thinking of setting up a recycling center..thank you.

  3. Its is nuts how much money you can scrape together when you purge all of your old stuff. The great thing about it is you can do alot without leaving the house with all the sites online ready to buy all of your old stuff!

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  5. As a low-income schoolteacher, I found this article very helpful, especially about recycling your calculators, although Cash4calcs.com seems to give a lot more than You Renew

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  9. Great tips for a cash-poor society. Thanks!

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  12. Well, this a very insightful piece full of great advice. This is one reason I like ecosalon so much; it helps me handle many life issues. And you’re right – there are some good economic considerations to be had in this process. So, thank you, Tina!


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