How to Make Money Recycling: 14 Companies that Will Pay You for Your Trash

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

How to Make Money Recycling: 14 Companies that Will Pay You for Your Trash

The world generates about 2.6 trillion tons of garbage a year. Yes, you read that right – 2 trillion tons of garbage, folks. And a large percentage of that winds up in landfills, waterways and who knows where else. Only about 1% of that waste makes its way to recycling facilities.

If you make the effort to recycle, we salute you – you really are making a difference whether you realize it or not. But if saving the world isn’t reason enough to start recycling, maybe the possibility of turning your trash into cash is.

We’re not talking about collecting aluminum cans and trading them in for change. We’re talking about recycling companies that offer cold, hard cash for your recyclables.


These companies will pay you for your trash:

Cardboard Boxes

It’s a safe bet that you have at least a few cardboard boxes laying around the house. If you shop online or have recently moved, you can turn those leftover boxes into cash. These companies will buy your boxes:

  1. com
  2. Boxcycle
  3. Container Exchange (plastic and metal bins as well as pallets)


So much electronic waste washes up on shores across the world each year. Forget tossing your old iPhone or laptop in the trash. Recycle it or sell it, and turn that waste into cash.

  1. Apple’s Recycling Program – Trade in your Apple electronics for a gift card.
  2. Gazelle – Buy or sell used electronics, including smartphones, laptops, PCs, cameras, gaming consoles and more.
  3. You Renew – You Renew will buy your old electronics. Just enter information about the item you want to sell, and receive an immediate offer.
  4. Amazon Trade-In Program – From tablets to cameras, phones, books and video games, Amazon’s Trade-In program lets you exchange your used items for an Amazon gift card.
  5. Best Buy Trade-In – Best Buy has a similar program to Amazon’s. Trade in your electronics for a Best Buy gift card.
  6. NextWorth – NextWorth will buy your smartphones, tablets, video games, cameras, laptops, iPods and wearables. Payments are made via check, Target gift card or PayPal.
  7. AT&T Trade-In Program – AT&T’s Trade-In Program lets you exchange your used electronics for an AT&T promotional card.

Other Recyclables

Have other items that you want to get rid of?

  1. Office Depot has an ink cartridge recycling program that gives you 200 points for each cartridge you bring in.
  2. AutoZone will give you a $5 store card for bringing in your used car battery. They also accept used oil and fluids.
  3. MAC Cosmetics will give you a free tube of lipstick if you return six primary packaging containers.
  4. ConEdison – ConEdison will pay you $50 to for your old freezer or refrigerator. They’ll even haul it away for you. They’ll also pay $25 for old wall or window air conditioning units.

One final tip: If you have old clothing and household items that you want to get rid of, donate them. Donations of old goods are usually tax deductible, which can save you money on your taxes. Be sure to check with your accountant to see if your donations are tax deductible.

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