Why throw away items that could be recycled or better yet, turned into cash? The benefits of recycling – reducing waste and pollution, saving energy, conserving natural resources, and promoting a sustainable future for the environment – far outweigh not being environmentally conscious. But sometimes, recycling doesn't make you feel like you're personally benefiting – at least not immediately. If an incentive is what will push you to recycle more, check out these examples of ways in which you can profit from recycling and turn your trash into cash.

Junk mail

What's made of paper, is incredibly annoying, and takes up unnecessary space in landfills? You got it – junk mail! If you find yourself getting spammed with snail mail way too often, The Small Business Knowledge Center might just be your new best friend. This curious company will pay you to forward them your direct mail and email communications. If you're a business owner or self-employed, you can earn rewards even faster. With 5.6 million tons of direct mail ending up in U.S. landfills each year, you'll be glad to know you're doing your part while simultaneously profiting from the trash that irks you most.


Recycling Bottles and Cans

Aluminum cans and bottles can be recycled through a variety of programs, making aluminum recycling one of the most common recycling for profit options. So much, in fact, the aluminum industry pays out more than $800 million a year for recycled cans. However, Americans throw away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum cans every year, which means at an average payout rate of 70 to 80 cents a pound, there's plenty of opportunities for you to make some extra money on the side.



There are plenty of companies such as Amazon, eBay, and HP that will buy back your old electronics. Other retailers will offer you steep discounts on new products in exchange for you recycling your old gadgets. Best Buy, for instance, will give you 15% off a computer mouse, keyboard, or printer when you bring in any of these same used electronics to the store for recycling.

With cellular phones going out of fashion quicker than you can update them, selling your phone for cash is one of the most profitable recycling programs. Consider Gazelle or Eco-Cell if you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Do you know of any other ways one can profit from recycling? If so, please share your ideas in the comments section below. We'd love to hear them!