Author Topic: Recycling for profits  (Read 4231 times)

VirginiaBob

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Recycling for profits
« on: October 03, 2014, 05:41:33 AM »
I know the truck pulls up to the house every two weeks to collect everything, but does anyone still save metals etc. and recycle them for cash?

We did this in college for our beer soda cans, and after a whole semester, it was worth $20, but metals have gone up a lot since then.

MayDay

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 05:55:05 AM »
I administer a program called Terracycle at my kid's school. We recycle juice pouches, applesauce pouches, and snack wrappers. We get paid. I don't know if its only for schools or not. Anyway, hopefully you aren't buying a ton of single serve snacks, but they do other things as well, like printer cartridges.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 06:43:36 AM »
My husband saves up metal items and takes them to the junkyard. Last time we got $70 but he had an overflowing pick up truck bed of stuff and about half of it was aluminum roofing. Steel was worth I think 14 cents a pound or something. Aluminum was maybe 35 cents or so? Anyway, he decided it wasn't really worth his time, and I don't think he will do it again. The main reason we did it this time is he put a steel roof on our house and had a lot of that left over. The aluminum roofing he found on the side of the road a few years ago.

Terracycle is only if you have A LOT of the stuff. You don't have to be a school, but an individual would have a hard time collecting their minimum amount.

nvmama

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 07:07:27 AM »
We save our cans (beer and soda) and will pick up others we happen to come across.  However, we do it to get our bottle deposit back.  If we just put it in the curbside recycle bins, we do not get the deposit back and 5 cents a can adds up.  We make very little extra depending on how many cans we find.  We do not go out actively searching for the cans, but if we see one, we pick it up.

The soda and beer cans are my husbands.  I have been trying to get him to cut back on his soda consumption, but haven't been super successful.

lakemom

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 07:53:05 AM »
I administer a program called Terracycle at my kid's school. We recycle juice pouches, applesauce pouches, and snack wrappers. We get paid. I don't know if its only for schools or not. Anyway, hopefully you aren't buying a ton of single serve snacks, but they do other things as well, like printer cartridges.

Our school does this too.  I'm pretty sure it has to be a school/club/charity but I could be wrong.  Although we are a small school (just 170 kids preK3 through 6th) we do keep the bins where church members can donate as well.  Last year from all the things we recycled (in addition to the above, cereal inner bags, markers, and cheese/yogurt wrappers and a few more things I can't come up with off the top of my head) our school made around $600.  As a fundraiser not the greatest return on time invested but we do it more for a learning tool for the kids as for the actual cash.  We keep the snack bag and yogurt bins in the lunchroom during lunch and those add up (quantity wise) pretty good.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 02:08:01 PM »
I've started a little metal 'stache.  I don't actively hunt anything down, but if come across anything I will throw it in my piles.  I keep steel, aluminum, and copper/brass.  I'd be really surprised if I accumulated more than $20 worth a year though.  Haven't made a sale run yet.  There are lots of youtube videos about how to salvage metals from various items.  When you consider the work involved, the per hour wage is probably pretty low.  You need is scale to make it work, as running around picking up 5 lbs here and 10 lbs there is hardly worth the gas. 

sheepstache

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 02:39:53 PM »
Of all the things I've done to save money, returning bottles for the deposit was what truly shocked people. 'What are you, a homeless person??' The bottle return areas are pretty sketch so I'm happy for y'all that there are nice places to recycle stuff where you live. I only did it once. In addition to the sketch factor there were no posted hours and they only took certain brands. I ended up selling my bottles to an actual homeless guy who knew where they would take them.

m8547

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 09:27:26 PM »
Metals (particularly aluminum) make the recycling stream profitable, so by selling them on your own you are making it effectively more expensive to process the rest of your recycling.

Whatever you do, make sure you recycle as much aluminum as you can. It costs something like 10x more to make new aluminum than to recycle it. It never really degrades with processing (unlike paper and plastic), so it can be recycled forever. Making sure it gets recycled makes it cheaper, which is good because it's a nice material for a lot of things.

One place I lived wouldn't take steel cans in the recycling. So I collected them for a while and sold them to a scrap metal place for $2.60. It wasn't really worth it to have cans taking up so much space, so I started throwing them in with the recycling anyway. I figure the first thing they do at the recycling center is run everything under a giant magnet to pick out ferrous metals. Even if they don't accept them, stray jar lids and bottle caps have to be taken out.

cavewoman

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 07:07:47 AM »
One time, when I was living in a rental above my landlord, a man pulled up to the house and honked.  I was the only one home, so I came downstairs. 
"Ya'll gonna keep them nickels?"  I was confused.  What nickels?  Then I saw where he was looking - the two garbage bins full of beer cans (literally the only thing I think my landlord consumed).
I let him know they weren't mine to give away, and he pulled off on his bicycle with his trailer full of "nickels".  Being in a college town, I'm sure he did alright with that gig.

Calvawt

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Re: Recycling for profits
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 07:33:26 AM »
In California each soda can is worth about $.06 due to the $.05 fee tagged on at the register when you purchase.  I probably net about $15 each time I go recycle our aluminum cans and plastic bottles every 2-3 months.